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Tesla Crash Suspected of Involving Autopilot Draws Probe

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U.S. safety regulators are investigating a crash involving a Tesla Inc. vehicle that hit a patrol car in Michigan, the latest in a series of accidents that have heightened regulatory scrutiny of the electric-vehicle maker and its driver-assistance features.

Michigan State Police said the driver of a Tesla Model Y had the vehicle’s advanced driver-assistance system, known as Autopilot, engaged when he plowed into a police vehicle Wednesday on a Lansing, Mich.-area highway. Troopers had pulled over to investigate a separate crash and had their emergency lights on, police said. No one was injured.

At least three crashes involving Teslas in recent weeks have resulted in probes by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency is also investigating a crash last week in Detroit and an accident last month north of Houston. Local law-enforcement officers said this week that they didn’t believe Autopilot was engaged at the time of the Detroit crash and were still reviewing whether it was active at the time of the Texas accident.

A NHTSA spokesperson said that consistent with the agency’s oversight authority, including over automated technologies, “we have launched a Special Crash Investigation team to investigate the crash.”

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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