The federal government takes the public's safety on the roadways of California and across the country extremely seriously. When innovative vehicles are involved in crashes, it often results in an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, a government agency that uses its findings to prompt safety regulations from legislators and other governing bodies. Auto manufacturers typically also conduct their own investigations, and the approaches used may not be compatible.
After a recent crash involving the Tesla Model X, the company has released information indicating that the issue leading to the driver's death stemmed from his own failure to monitor the vehicle's operation. The auto manufacturer claims that, based on the vehicle's computer records, it is possible that the driver did not have his hands on the steering wheel for the six seconds immediately preceding the crash.
The NTSB investigation agreement includes a requirement that information must not be released to the public until the investigation is complete. The agency claims that Tesla has been removed from the investigation as a result of the premature statement; however, the automaker claims that it has stepped back voluntarily because it has a duty to the public to provide relevant information as soon as it becomes available.
In any motor vehicle crash, there may be many parties that contributed to the event. Often, people who have suffered an injury or lost a family member in a crash turn to a personal injury attorney for help in gathering evidence that proves negligence and liability.
Source: Wired, "Tesla's wild fight with the feds investigating its Autopilot death," Jack Stewart, April 12, 2018