Published: Wed, July 13, 2016
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Tesla under investigation by SEC after fatal crash involving autopilot

Tesla under investigation by SEC after fatal crash involving autopilot

It was the first known fatality where Autopilot was activated, Tesla has said.

"The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive-down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model", Musk wrote in a blog outlining the initial plan.

The tech entrepreneur - who also founded the companies PayPal, Zip2 and SpaceX - Tweeted yesterday that he is: "Working on a Top Secret Tesla Masterplan, Part 2". This year, the company has unveiled plans for its more affordable Model 3 which has already received more than 300,000 pre-orders, according to Tesla.

There's no further clue as to what "part two" might entail, but Musk probably hopes it's exciting enough to make everyone forget about all the bad Tesla news recently.

I'm beyond excited to see what Musk has planned for the next 10 years, especially considering what he has accomplished in the last 10.

On the other hand, Tesla Motors has explained it considered the accident was "not material to the value of Tesla", and reminded everyone that a vehicle maker does not have to notify investors of every or any fatal accident that occurs in one of its models. The investigation, initially involving the Florida Highway Patrol and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has now been joined by the National Transportation Safety Board. Federal officials are investigating a 7 May crash in Florida that killed a man after his Model S's cameras failed to detect a turning tractor-trailer and did not automatically activate the brakes.

The investigations related to the Autopilot system come at a time when Musk and his high-flying company are under pressure on several fronts.

Tesla shares were down almost 15 percent since late April. However, he has also been criticized for overpromising and under-delivering, especially on his pledge to produce an affordable, mass-market electric auto.

At that time, Musk wrote: "As you know, the initial product of Tesla Motors is a high-performance electric sports vehicle called the Tesla Roadster".

Last month, it emerged that Tesla was looking to buy SolarCity, a manufacturer of solar panels that was also created by Elon Musk. Tesla co-founder and product architect Elon Musk attempted to do just that by referencing a "Tesla masterplan" on Twitter. The company reported during the long July 4 holiday weekend that it had delivered 14,370 vehicles during the second quarter, short of its target of 17,000 vehicles.

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