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NTSB 'unhappy' with Tesla's release of details on fatal crash

Tesla's recent blog posts have admitted that Autopilot was active but appear to shift blame to the driver and a missing crash attenuator on the highway.

The National Transportation Safety Board has subtly pressured Tesla to keep quiet as the agency continues its investigation into the recent fatal crash involving a Model X operating on Autopilot.

The company issues a blog post on Friday admitting Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash, with the adaptive cruise-control distance set to minimum.

The statement appeared to focus blame solely on the driver and the government, noting that he had ignored several visual and audible chimes "earlier in the drive" and had "about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider" that the car apparently automatically steered into without any corrective input from the driver.

"The reason this crash was so severe is because the crash attenuator, a highway safety barrier which is designed to reduce the impact into a concrete lane divider, had been crushed in a prior accident without being replaced," the company added. "We have never seen this level of damage to a Model X in any other crash."

The NTSB followed up by praising Tesla for being "extremely cooperative on assisting with the vehicle data" but the agency apparently would prefer if the automaker waited before making more conclusive statements.

"The NTSB is unhappy with the release of investigative information by Tesla," said NTSB spokesman Christopher O'Neil.

The NTSB is expected to take several more weeks for issue its preliminary report into the incident. It could take several more months before any formal findings are made public.