A crash involving a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range on September 13, 2021, killed two people in very strange circumstances. NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) announced it would investigate them on September 17. Less than two months after that, the safety board disclosed the first fact about the crash: it involved high speed.

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tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb
tesla, tesla model 3, coral gables, ev crash, ev fire, ntsb

According to the preliminary report, the Model 3’s “accelerator pedal ranged from 0 to 100 percent” in an interval of 5 seconds that went from an instant before the crash until a while after it. After recovering the EDR (event data recorder), NTSB managed to retrieve this information, which sustained fire damages.

NTSB was able to see that the vehicle reached a top speed of 90 mph in a 30-mph area. The report says the driver accelerated when the Tesla “neared the yellow signal light at the intersection” of Alhambra Drive with Coral Way, confirming the statement made by Ian Linder Sheldon, the driver that recorded the collision.

One of the things that are yet to be explained is why the vehicle suddenly swerved left, as a video Sheldon recorded shows. It could be an oversteer episode, but the Model 3 LR was an AWD vehicle, making that possibility more difficult, especially with the ESP active. Sheldon said the car hit a bump, which made it jump “several feet.” There’s no indication that the driver hit the brake pedal.

NTSB also wants to determine if the driver and the passenger had any chance to survive the crash if the EV had not caught on fire. The safety board already knows that the battery pack case was damaged and that the blaze started in this component.

NTSB said this preliminary report might be supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation. That said, and although the car was at high speed, the sudden direction change and the reason for that is possibly what will explain what happened that day.

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