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Apple Engineer Who Died In 2018 Tesla Crash Previously Complained Of Autopilot Malfunction

Apple Engineer Who Died In 2018 Tesla Crash Previously Complained Of Autopilot Malfunction

Walter Huang, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) engineer, who died in a fatal crash in 2018, had previously complained about the autopilot in his Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) car malfunctioning to his family.

What Happened

The National Transportation Safety Board released documents of their investigation into Huang's death, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

According to the NTSB documents reviewed by the Associated Press, Huang had told his wife that the autopilot veered towards the same barrier on the United States Highway 101, where he ultimately crashed.

The engineer also discussed the matter with his brother and a friend who owned a Tesla vehicle about how a software patch installed in the car was causing it to veer, the Associated Press noted.

Huang's family sued Tesla and the California Department of Transportation in May 2019 for wrongful death and negligence.

Why It Matters

Tesla's autopilot mode requires the driver's hands to be at the steering wheel at all times. In the aftermath of the accident, Tesla had said that Huang failed to do so.

"The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver's hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision," the company had said in a statement in March 2019.

"The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken."

The NTSB board will hold a hearing on the crash on February 25, AP reports. The agency is also investigating a separate 2017 crash in Florida that killed another Tesla user Jeremy Banner in March 2019.

Price Action

Tesla's shares closed 0.4% higher at $774.38 on Tuesday. The shares traded 0.57% lower at $770 in the after-hours session.

Photo Credit: Public domain image via Wikimedia.


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