The U.S. military has launched an investigation into a deadly Tesla crash that killed at least three people

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WASHINGTON – A special crash investigation has opened into a fatal Tesla crash in California this month that killed three people, the U.S. Transportation Safety Agency said Wednesday.

The crash involving the 2022 model Tesla Model S was one of more than 30 Tesla vehicles under investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) where advanced driver assistance systems such as autopilots were suspected to have been used.

The Tesla investigation found a total of 14 accidental deaths, including three recent.

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Since 2016, Tesla has had 35 special crash investigations by NHTSA involving improved driver assistance systems, three of which have eliminated autopilot use.

The NHTSA said separately on Wednesday that in April it launched another special crash investigation involving the 2016 Tesla Model X in Florida that resulted in a minor injury.

NHTSA did not immediately identify the three killed in the new investigation, but the Orange County Register -equipment-in- newport-beach reports that the May 12 Tesla Model S crash killed three passengers and injured three workers when it hit construction equipment on the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

Tesla’s autopilot and other driver assistance systems are under increasing scrutiny. Tesla says on its website that the autopilot enables vehicles to automatically steer, accelerate and brake, but “requires active driver supervision and does not make the vehicle autonomous.”

In August, the NHTSA said it had conducted a formal preliminary assessment of the autopilot and identified at least a dozen crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles. That investigation is still pending. (Reporting by David Shepardsson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCull)

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