A fatal crash and vehicle fire of a Tesla Inc Model X near Mountain View, California, last week has prompted a federal field investigation, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday.
"Unclear if automated control system was active at time of crash", the NTSB wrote. After the plunge following the Tesla crash, the company's stock also became the most profitable short in the U.S. BidaskClub cut shares of Tesla from a "hold" rating to a "sell" rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th.
Moody's Investors Service lowered its credit rating on Tesla yesterday stating, "Tesla's ratings reflect the significant shortfall in the production rate of the company's Model 3 electric vehicle", Moody's said. The driver's LinkedIn profile identifies him as a software engineer who joined Apple Inc.in November after more than a decade at Electronic Arts Inc. Caltrans was not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning to respond.
Tesla shares sank in the US Tuesday trading session, as the US NTSB said it was investigating the fatal crash in California involving a Tesla Model X. Tesla said it was also working to uncover the exact details of what happened during the accident.
Tesla battery packs are designed so that in the rare circumstance a fire occurs, it spreads slowly so that occupants have plenty of time to get out of the auto.
The collision caused extensive damage partly because a safety barrier meant to reduce the impact into a concrete lane divider had been removed or crushed in a prior accident without being replaced, according to Tesla. Tesla has a 1 year low of $267.70 and a 1 year high of $389.61. Musk vowed to demonstrate a fully autonomous Los Angeles-to-New-York cross-country trip by the end of 2017, but that date has slipped.
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The driver appears to have died of his injuries after being taken to hospital. The statement did not say if the crashed vehicle was in Autopilot mode. Other carmakers are supplementing their systems with a laser-based system called lidar.
An analyst at Citigroup wrote on Tuesday that Tesla may be struggling to convert auto shoppers into Model 3 buyers, while a Robert W Baird & Company said on Monday that the company might not achieve its weekly production goal by the end of March.
Bears have increasingly criticized Tesla's cash position as it faces pressure to ramp up production for its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.
While Tesla continues to benefit from strong market acceptance of its cars and growing regulatory support, there's a risk that Tesla has to "undertake a large, near-term capital raise in order to refund maturing obligations and avoid a liquidity short-fall", Moody's said. There are plenty of bitterness on the Model 3 such as the poor build quality and cheap interior but the biggest pain which you will experience is with the wait for the vehicle's delivery.