Tesla has been removed from the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into a fatal Autopilot accident that happened in March. The NTSB says it took the action because Tesla had released “investigative information before it was vetted and confirmed by” the agency.
“Such releases of incomplete information often lead to speculation and incorrect assumptions about the probable cause of a crash, which does a disservice to the investigative process and the traveling public,” the agency writes.
The NTSB’s account contradicts Tesla’s version of the story. In a statement, the automaker says it decided to remove itself from the investigation on Tuesday because of the NTSB was restricting it from sharing information before the probe ends. The company also accuses the NTSB of being duplicitous, arguing that the agency has released statements about the crash at the same time that it told Tesla not to.
“It’s been clear in our conversations with the NTSB that they’re more concerned with press headlines than actually promoting safety,” a spokesperson for the company says. “Among other things, they repeatedly released partial bits of incomplete information to the media in violation of their own rules, at the same time that they were trying to prevent us from telling all the facts. We don’t believe this is right and we will be making an official complaint to Congress.”
The company also said it will issue “a Freedom Of Information Act request to understand the reasoning behind their focus on the safest cars in America while they ignore the cars that are the least safe.”