U.S. Investigators Say No Defect in Tesla Autopilot System

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that its investigation into Tesla (TSLA) found that there were no defects in the electric car company's Autopilot system at the time of the well-publicized fatal crash in Florida last May. As a result, no recall will be initiated on account of the incident. 

The Tesla driver had his vehicle on Autopilot mode when it hit a semi truck trailer that was turning in front of him on the highway. 

Tesla released a statement about the NHTSA's investigative results writing, "the safety of our customers comes first, and we appreciate the thoroughness of NHTSA's report and its conclusion." 

CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter (TWTR) to highlight one figure from the report that said the crash rate of Tesla cars dropped by almost 40% after Autosteer was installed in them. He called the results "very positive." 

This announcement is important because a lot of people thought this fatal wreck would be the end of Tesla's Autopilot system and would put pressure on the company's stock price, CNBC's Phil LeBeau noted on "Power Lunch" on Thursday afternoon. Contrary to this view, shares of Tesla are actually up about 5% since the crash happened on May 7. 

In addition, Morgan Stanley (MS) upgraded Tesla's stock rating this morning to "overweight" from "equal weight," partly due to a budding relationship between Musk and President-elect Donald Trump, LeBeau noted. Trump is a big proponent of keeping jobs in the U.S. and that's exactly what Tesla is doing with its gigafactory project and the expansion of its plant in Fremont, California.  

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