Tesla subpoenas may presage formal probe, ex-official says

Signage outside the Tesla Inc. Supercharger station in Kettleman City, Calif., on July 31, 2019. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg.

Freshly disclosed records suggest the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may be preparing a formal investigation into Tesla's driver-assistance system Autopilot, a former agency official said.

The agency has issued at least five subpoenas since April 2018 for information about Tesla vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA correspondence with the electric-car manufacturer released Tuesday by Plainsite. The legal transparency group obtained the documents through a public records request for communications regarding Autopilot...

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