Swiss police investigate fatal crash, fire involving Tesla

May 15, 2018

Police in southern Switzerland say they are investigating the death of a German man after a Tesla car he was driving crashed into a guardrail and burst into flames last week.

The Bellinzona city fire brigade reportedly pulled from its Facebook page a comment that suggested the 's lithium ion batteries could have triggered a phenomenon involving a "rapid and unstoppable increase in temperature" before Thursday's accident.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, the fire brigade said simply that an investigation was underway and declined to comment further.

Bellinzona police said the German driver, 48, crashed while driving on the highway in circumstances that have not yet been clarified.

Tesla said in a company release that it's saddened by the crash and is fully cooperating with authorities to find out the facts. "Tesla has not yet received any data from the car and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, although it appeared to be a high-speed collision," the statement said.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating at least two recent fires involving Tesla vehicles. Last week the agency opened a probe of a Model S that caught fire after crashing into a wall in Florida. Two 18-year-olds were trapped in the vehicle and died in the flames.

The U.S. agency also is looking into the performance of the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot system after a Tesla Model X SUV crashed into a barrier on a California highway. The driver in that incident died, but Tesla said he was pulled from the vehicle before it caught fire.

Police in Utah are looking into a collision involving a Tesla electric car that hit a department vehicle over the weekend. Drive told investigators she had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged when she slammed into the back of the truck.

Explore further: Tesla's Autopilot engaged during Utah crash

Related Stories

Tesla's Autopilot engaged during Utah crash

May 15, 2018

The driver of a Tesla electric car had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged when she slammed into the back of a Utah fire truck over the weekend, in the latest crash involving a car with self-driving features.

Recommended for you

Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks

January 18, 2019

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.