The company doesn't believe Autopilot caused the deadly accident in a Model S.

After two crashes by people allegedly using Tesla’s Autopilot system, the electric vehicle maker is facing government scrutiny over the safety of its semi-autonomous driving tech. Fortune has also claimed in a pair of stories that the automaker didn’t comply with its duty to report the incidents to investors because the accidents could have affected the stock price. The company hasn’t backed down, though, and issued a statement that disputed Fortune’s arguments.

Tesla and Elon Musk sold around $2 billion in stock 11 days after the fatal crash, which happened on May 7. By not mentioning the death, Fortune alleged that the automaker deceived investors. In a second report, the publication cited a filing by Tesla to the Securities and Exchange Commission where the company admitted a product liability claim would financially harm the business. This incident could cause that type of legal process, the story claims.

Tesla’s response to these allegations titled “Misfortune” offers counter arguments against Fortune’s stories, and the automaker claims Autopilot is safe. The company challenges that it had all details about the accident immediately. Instead, the business reported the accident to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on May 16 and sent an internal investigator to Florida on May 18. Tesla's inquiry only finished last week.

In addition, Autopilot has covered over 130 million miles and this was the first fatal accident, making the system statistically safer than human drivers. The company also hasn’t yet faced a lawsuit over the system’s safety.

The automaker also disputes that Autopilot is the cause of this crash. “To be clear, this accident was the result of a semi-tractor trailer crossing both lanes of a divided highway in front of an oncoming car,” Tesla’s statement said. The incident would have required an emergency maneuver in manual driving mode, too, it claimed.

NHTSA is now determining Autopilot's part in these crashes. The investigation's results could have a huge effect on the automaker's future.

Source: Fortune [1], [2], Tesla

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