"NTSB has a long history of investigating emerging transportation technologies, such as lithium ion battery fires in commercial aviation", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. Lithium-ion batteries like those used by Tesla can catch fire and burn rapidly in a crash, although Tesla has maintained its vehicles catch fire far less often than those powered by gasoline.
This isn't the first time the NTSB is looking into a fatal vehicle crash involving a Tesla Model S in Florida.
He said the agency was investigating because there was a post-crash fire involving an electric vehicle.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched its fourth active investigation dealing with a crash involving a Tesla, this time looking into a fatal incident on Tuesday where a Model S left the road and crashed into a concrete wall. Berry's condition has not been reported. Local authorities believe that that speeding might have been the cause.
Alexander Berry, who was riding in the backseat at the time of the crash, was ejected from the auto but survived. Two 18-year-olds were trapped and died when the vehicle became engulfed in flames, police told WPLG-TV. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 150,000 gasoline auto fires occur in the US every year.More news: Closing moments of season-ending playoff loss will motivate Joel Embiid
"Our thoughts are with the families and friends affected by this tragedy", Tesla said in a statement.
Tesla said late Wednesday it had not retrieved electronic logs from the vehicle, but the high rate of speed indicated the autopilot feature was not engaged. The family who owned the vehicle has been a close friend of Tesla for many years, and this hits us particularly hard.
According to the auto company, this was a "very high-speed collision and..." This would be the second Tesla vehicle to ignite after hitting a concrete barrier in less than two months. "This doesn't change how devastating an event like this is for our customer's family and friends, and our hearts are with them". In March, a Tesla Model X crashed into a highway barrier in Mountain View, California, killing its 38-year-old driver.
On Wednesday, Tesla released a statement regarding the crash.