Driver: Tesla's Autopilot engaged during crash

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Driver: Tesla's Autopilot engaged during crash

Currently, Tesla has around 500,000 preorders for its more affordable model 3, its first mass-market electric vehicle.

Tesla said its autopilot system is unlikely to have been a factor in the crash, but it marks the agency's fourth active investigation into crashes of the company's electric vehicles.

After a rough start to the week - Tesla shares closed down 3 per cent Monday after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced a "thorough reorganization" - Jonas' latest call is further weighing on the stock Tuesday, with shares down as much as 3.9 per cent in morning trading.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, a one-time ardent bull, continues to wave the caution flag, slashing his price target due to troubles in the electric carmaker's production process for the Model 3 sedan.

Tesla will pause production at its California factory for six days at the end of the May to work on fixes to its assembly line for its new Model 3 sedan, sources inside the company told Reuters.

Musk said in Monday's email Tesla would still rapidly hire people to fill critical positions "to support the Model 3 production ramp and future product development".

Musk originally said that Tesla was restructuring in the company's first-quarter earnings call earlier this month.

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Autopilot, a form of advanced cruise control, handles some driving tasks and warns those behind the wheel they are always responsible for the vehicle's safe operation, Tesla has said.

"This is false", Musk wrote. "Eyetracking rejected for being ineffective, not for cost", Musk tweeted.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a memo on Monday that the company is reorganizing in an effort aimed at "flattening management". He said Tesla's record of a fatality every 320 million miles compared with last year's national average of 86 million miles, per safety regulators.

The Bellinzona city fire brigade reportedly pulled from its Facebook page a comment that suggested the vehicle's lithium ion batteries could have triggered a phenomenon involving a "rapid and unstoppable increase in temperature" before Thursday's accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not opened an investigation into the crash, spokesman Keith Holloway said, though it could decide to do so.

The 28-year-old driver has admitted to police that she was looking at her phone when she crashed, the Daily Mail reports.

The driver of a Tesla electric auto which crashed into the back of a fire engine on Saturday says she had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged and was looking at her phone when the accident occurred.

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