According to the Associated Press, the accident occurred in South Jordan, Utah, on Friday evening, when a Tesla Model S saloon travelling at 60mph collided with the back of a fire engine that had stopped at a red light.
The Tesla vehicle was travelling at 60 miles per hour when it hit the mechanic truck, which was stopped for the light on the South Bangerter Highway in South Jordan, Utah at 6:38 pm MT, the police said. Witnesses indicated the Tesla Model S did not brake prior to impact.
In a couple of recent tweets Musk downplayed the accident itself, emphasizing the fact that the only injury the Tesla driver had sustained was a broken ankle, when, he argued, it would have been much worse in any other auto. Police Sgt. Samuel Winkler said the car's air bags were activated and that the Tesla's 28-year-old driver suffered a broken right ankle, while the driver of the mechanic truck didn't require treatment. Instead, he believes the serious accidents involve experienced users who have become complacent and consciously choose to ignore the warnings.
Meanwhile, Tesla is being investigated by the transport safety authorities for a crash, during which, the driver said, the Autopilot feature was on. The driver of the fire truck was evaluated for whiplash but was not checked into the hospital.
"What's actually unbelievable about this accident is that a Model S hit a fire truck at 60 miles per hour and the driver only broke an ankle", Musk tweeted.
A survey done as recently as February found that almost 60 percent of drivers who now own a connected vehicle said they wouldn't buy a self-driving auto, even if money wasn't a factor.
"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the ~40,000 people who died in U.S. auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", he tweeted.
A Tesla spokesperson told Newsweek on Tuesday: "Tesla has not yet received any data from the vehicle and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, including whether Autopilot was engaged".
The NTSB and Tesla have also been at odds as of late after the agency accused the automaker of releasing classified information regarding one of its investigations while it was still going on.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015, in Fremont, California.
Over the past two months, federal officials have opened investigations into at least two other crashes involving Tesla vehicles.
After quitting his job from Tesla Inc., Mr. Schwall joined their rival company Waymo Inc last Monday.
"It certainly needs to be better and we work to improve it every day, but ideal is the enemy of good", Musk tweeted. "A system that, on balance, saves lives & reduces injuries should be released".