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Musk Tweets Autopilot Was Off on Tesla Car In Deadly Texas Crash

Tesla shares rebound in late trading after falling in regular session on transport agency probe of weekend crash that killed two.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report shares ended lower Monday, after transport officials began probing a deadly weekend crash involving one of its cars that reports said occurred while there was no driver at the wheel. 

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation follows multiple media reports that suggested the weekend incident in involving a Model S sedan, which took the lives of two passengers following a fiery crash outside of Houston, occurred while the car was operating under autopilot. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday afternoon that "Data logs recovered so far show Autopilot was not enabled & this car did not purchase FSD."

Harris County Constable Mark Herman told KHOU-TV in Houston on Sunday that the positioning of the victims -- who have not yet been named -- in the aftermath of the deadly accident suggested that "there was no one driving that vehicle."

"We are actively engaged with local law enforcement and Tesla to learn more about the details of the crash and will take appropriate steps when we have more information," the agency said. 

Tesla shares ended the regular session off 3.4% at $714.63. The stock rose $7.89, or 1.1%, to $722.52 in after-hours trading in the wake of Musk's tweet.   

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Tesla's Autopilot system, despite its name, is not an autonomous driving program, and the company has consistently warned its customers that they must be engaged with the car and the driving process when it is activated, adding it should only be used on divided highways. 

Prior to Sunday's crash, the NHTSA has said it is investigating around 23 accidents linked to Tesla's Autopilot program, including one involving a police car and a Model Y near the Michigan city of Lansing. 

Tesla delivered 184,800 new cars over the three months ended in March, the company said earlier this month, up more than 100% from last year and largely ahead of Wall Street estimates of around 177,000 vehicles

Tesla produced 180,338 Model 3s and Model Ys, the company said, and delivered 182,780. A further 2,020 Model S and X cars were added to the delivery total.

Tesla also sold 35478 of its China-made cars in March, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) reported on April 9, up from 10,160 over the same period last year. Tesla's China sales were around a fifth of its overall total in 2020 - when it delivered a record 499,550 vehicles - up from just 12% in 2019.

The company will post its first-quarter earnings on Monday, April 26, after the market close.