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Elon Musk Says Safety ‘Primary Design Goal’ For Tesla As NHTSA Expands Probe

(Benzinga.com) – Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk commented on vehicle safety on social media, a day after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was intensifying its probe against the automaker over touchscreen failures.

What Happened: On Wednesday, Musk responded to a tweet that contained graphic visuals involving a crashed Model 3 vehicle. The driver involved in the accident reportedly walked away only with “minor injuries.”

“Safety is our primary design goal,” the Tesla CEO said in the Twitter thread that reported the accident. Musk was responding to a user who said the main reason “my parents finally decided to get a Tesla was for safety.”

Why It Matters: Musk’s comment comes in the aftermath of the NHTSA expanding a safety probe against the electric vehicles maker.

The federal agency’s touchscreen failure probe, now upgraded to an engineering analysis, involves 159,000 Model S and Model X vehicles, according to Reuters.

NHTSA claims that the failure can lead to the loss of rear-camera image display when the vehicle is put in reverse, as well as lead, to other issues such as impacting the car’s turn signals.

In 2018, an Apple.com AAPL engineer, Walter Huang, died in a fatal crash. He had complained to his family about his car’s autopilot malfunctioning.

Huang’s family had sued Tesla and the California Department of Transportation for wrongful death and negligence in May last year.

Tesla is also facing another NHTSA investigation over defecting battery cooling systems in early Model S electric vehicles.  

Price Action: Tesla shares closed 10.20% higher at $486.64 on Wednesday and fell 0.96% in the after-hours session.

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