South Korea has reportedly made an announcement stating that it has started an investigation into the suspected safety issues with vehicles manufactured by the U.S. automaker, Tesla Inc.
According to a transport ministry official, Tesla’s investigation mainly includes the braking and steering systems, and also comprises the Autopilot function in its vehicles. The previous year, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board cited that Tesla’s Autopilot design and driver errors were the probable cause of a Model S crash that took place in January 2018 in the state of California.
As per sources from the South Korean media, Tesla’s Model 3 was currently under investigation and the probe might take a duration ranging from six months to a complete year. An official at Tesla’s South Korean unit has stated that the company intends to extend full cooperation throughout the investigation.
As reported, a Tesla vehicle that was being driven above the speed limit had crashed into a truck in March 2019 in the U.S. An investigation report further stated that the driver did not seem to have his hands on the steering wheel and had engaged Autopilot merely 10 seconds before the crash. However, no evasive action was taken by the driver or the Autopilot before the crash.
Tesla has explained, in a statement, that Tesla drivers have apparently logged over one billion miles on Autopilot mode, adding that drivers supported by Autopilot are far safer than those operating without any assistance. However, they are advised to make proper use of the Autopilot function by being prepared to take control at all times.
In the South Korean electric vehicle market, Tesla is a strong competitor to the country’s Hyundai Motor Co. The company reportedly had its best month in June, and its Model 3 not only overpowered premium models from Audi and BMW but also stood competition with Hyundai’s Kona EV.