Elon Musk Says Tesla Model S Crash Media Coverage Is 'Messed Up'

Elon Musk poses with a Tesla outside the company’s factory in Silicon Valley October 2011

A Tesla Inc Model S crashed at speed into a truck from the city's Unified Fire Authority in South Jordan, Utah, late on Friday after failing to slow for a red light, South Jordan police said on Monday.

"This remains an active investigation and the South Jordan Police Department is now working with technicians from Tesla to gather and review data stored within the vehicle, which may take several days", police sergeant Samuel Winkler said in a statement published online this week. Witnesses said the auto "did not brake or take any action to avoid the collision" but the driver has since admitted to police that she had been looking at her phone prior to the collision.

In another Twitter message on Monday, Musk said the "probability of fatality is much lower in a Tesla", saying Tesla would begin reporting safety numbers beginning in the second quarter.

On Monday firefighters in Switzerland said a fatal accident involving a Tesla may have set off a fire in the car's battery. The driver of the fire truck suffered whiplash and was not taken to a hospital.

Complicating Tesla's problems, however, have been reports of a series of recent crashes that have resulted in several deaths and injuries.

"What's actually wonderful about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60 m.p.h. and the driver only broke an ankle", he added.

Police said they had been in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash.

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The NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles. The 18 year-old driver slammed into a concrete wall, and the vehicle burst into flames, trapping the occupants inside.

Despite the rocky relationship between Tesla and the NTSB, agency spokesperson Keith Holloway said he's still uncertain as to whether the agency will open an investigation into the accident.

Musk said "the probability of an accident with autopilot is just less", and he insisted the vehicle had functioned exactly as it was created to in the California crash. In a memo sent to employees, Musk noted he was "flattening (the company's) management structure to improve communications", while shifting away from "activities that are not vital to the success of our mission".

Back in March, an Uber in self-driving mode hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona.

"As a reminder for drivers of semi-autonomous vehicles, it is the driver's responsibility to stay alert, drive safely, and be in control of the vehicle at all times", Winkler added.

The driver of the Tesla may face charges for failing to maintain the safety of her vehicle, which would be a traffic infraction, according to police spokesman Sgt. Samuel Winkler.

There was light rain falling and roads were wet when the crash occurred, police said in a statement.

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