A Minnesota man is blaming Tesla's partially self-driving Autopilot system for a crash over the weekend.
David Clark, 58, of Eden Prairie, said he was driving Saturday evening before sunset on a country road 18 miles northeast of Willmar, when the auto "suddenly accelerated" and overturned in the marsh, the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Sunday. The company also noted it is still the driver's responsibility to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle when Autopilot is engaged. Tesla said it hasn't yet established whether the vehicle's Autopilot feature was engaged, but it has no reason to believe it worked other than as designed. The crash brought intense scrutiny on the technology and whether the car's manufacturer, based in Palo Alto, Calif., overstated the capability of the autopilot feature.
In May 2016, a motorist near Gainesville, Fla., was killed when his Tesla collided with a semitrailer truck while in the self-driving mode.
After the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a full report on the crash and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) decided not to issue a recall of that model of Tesla cars, finding no safety defect.
The autopilot feature uses cameras, radar and computers to detect objects and automatically brake if the vehicle is about to hit something.
Tesla is very careful about its Autopilot feature warning drivers against misuse and use of the system.
For the time being, a Tesla owner in California filed a federal lawsuit against Tesla for the same "sudden acceleration" problem.