Ford Mustang Mach-E crash to be investigated by US safety body - SUV VEHICLE

Ford Mustang Mach-E crash to be investigated by US safety body

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The probe comes from a NTSB chair who pledged to be a “fierce advocate” for safety, and is the second involving a Mustang Mach-E.

The US National Transport Safety Broad (NTSB) will investigate a fatal crash involving a Ford Mustang Mach-E which was using the car maker’s ‘BlueCruise’ semi-autonomous driving feature at the time of the collision.

The accident occurred on 3 March 2024 on the I-95 highway in Philadelphia when the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV crashed into two parked vehicles, resulting in the driver’s death.

It’s the second NTSB probe involving the Ford Mustang Mach-E and a road death. 

The safety body has previously announced it was already looking into a 24 February 2024 collision where a Mustang Mach-E crashed into a parked Honda CR-V SUV, again resulting in a fatality.

The investigation comes as NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy – who has held the position since August 2021 – provided written testimony for a US Senate committee hearing into her nomination by US President Joe Biden to continue in the role.

“On scene, my most important duty is to brief the families on what is often the worst day of their lives,” the NTSB chair’s testimony said, as reported by Reuters.

“It’s why I fight so hard for NTSB safety recommendations,” Homendy added, pledging to remain “a fierce advocate for improving transportation safety.”

Homendy was critical when the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not adopt recommendations regarding testing ‘Level 2’ autonomous vehicles – which include Tesla vehicles and now the Mustang Mach-E – from a 2018 NTSB report.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been available in the US with BlueCruise – a semi-autonomous driving system – since July 2021.

The car maker claimed 10-million ‘hands-free miles’ (16.1 million kilometres) had been driven using the system in the first 12 months it was offered.

The Mach-E electric SUV was introduced in Australia in 2023 but does not offer BlueCruise as such semi-autonomous systems – like those offered by electric car maker Tesla – are not currently legal on Australian roads without special authorisation.

NHTSA requires any accident involving autonomous vehicles to be reported by the vehicle manufacturer.

“We are researching the events of March 3 and collaborating fully with both agencies [the NTSB and NHTSA] to understand the facts,” a spokesperson from Ford told Reuters.

Electric car maker Tesla has been the subject of multiple probes by NHTSA, including a two-million vehicle recall in 2023 and investigations into at least 17 deaths in Teslas related to autonomous driving features.

US car maker General Motors’ (GM) autonomous driving department, named Cruise, had its licence to operate its autonomous ‘robotaxi’ vehicles in California suspended in October 2023.

The decision came after a Cruise robotaxi hit a pedestrian who’d been struck by another car and carried the victim approximately six metres while trapped under the vehicle.

GM grounded the fleet of almost 1000 robotaxis following the licence suspension, only announcing in April 2024 it would recommence Cruise operations in Phoenix, Arizona.

In April 2024, an autonomous Hyundai became the first vehicle to pass the US driving test.

The post Ford Mustang Mach-E crash to be investigated by US safety body appeared first on Drive.

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