NHTSA's Special Crash Investigations Unit To Review Fatal Tesla Crash In Los Angeles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into the Dec. 29 crash of a Tesla Model S in Southern California that killed two people, reported Bloomberg.

NHTSA's Communications Director Sean Rushton wouldn't comment on the specifics of the crash and didn't say if the Model S was on Autopilot during the incident. 

A speeding black Tesla ran a red light and plowed into a Honda Civic Sunday, instantly killing two occupants in that car. 

The Los Angeles Police Department, at the time of the accident, said two occupants in the Tesla suffered non-life threatening injuries. 

NHTSA's inquiry into the crash will be headed by the agency's Special Crash Investigations unit. It has already investigated 13 Tesla crashes where Autopilot was suspected of malfunctioning. 

Earlier last month, NHTSA announced that it would open an investigation into a crash in Connecticut where a Tesla hit a parked police cruiser while on Autopilot. 

NHTSA criticized Autopilot's lack of safeguards after it probed a 2018 crash in Sept. 

Tesla and NHTSA have advised drivers that their hands must be on the steering wheel at all times while engaging Autopilot. Still, some drivers disobey the rules and take their hands off the steering wheel as it's their belief the vehicle is fully autonomous. 

U.S. Senator Ed Markey recently said Tesla should suspend Autopilot to its customers until new safety mechanisms are put in place to avoid future crashes.