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Tesla’s stock rises 6% after “fast-track” U.S. government investigation into self-driving defects

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is moving forward “very quickly” with an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system, the agency’s acting director Ann Carlson told reporters Monday. The investigation was launched in August 2021.

Tesla
Carlson told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Washington that “we’re putting a lot of resources into this,” but she declined to commit to a specific timeframe for the investigation’s conclusion. “Those resources require a lot of technical expertise and actually some legal novelty, so we’re moving as quickly as we can, but we also want to be cautious and make sure we have all the information that we need.” She said.

Last June, NHTSA upgraded its defect investigation into 830,000 Autopilot-equipped Tesla vehicles involved in collisions with parked emergency vehicles to an engineering analysis. That investigation is a necessary step before NHTSA can require a recall of the cars.

Meanwhile, NHTSA said Monday it is in discussions with Tesla over tweets from CEO Elon Musk about the owner monitoring feature. The tweet suggested that drivers who drive more than 10,000 miles with Tesla’s FSD system should be able to disable the “steering wheel alert” feature. The feature sends an alert instructing drivers to hold the steering wheel to make sure they stay focused. Musk responded, “Agreed, the update will be released in January.”

As of Monday’s close, Tesla shares halted their decline, rising 5.93 percent to close at $119.77, with a market capitalization of $378.2 billion.

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