• US road safety regulators are probing a Utah crash involving a Tesla on Autopilot, per Reuters. 
  • The biker was struck from behind by a Tesla Model 3 on Sunday, the news agency reported.
  • The crash comes shortly after the agency expanded an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot system.

US road safety regulators are investigating a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model 3 over claims that the driver was using the autopilot system. 

On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it had opened a special investigation into the death of a motorcyclist that occurred in Utah on Sunday, Reuters first reported

The unnamed 34-year-old was traveling southbound on a freeway in Draper county, Utah, when he was struck from behind by the Model 3 Tesla, according to Utah Highway Patrol, KSL News reported. The driver told investigators that the Autopilot function was on and he failed to see the victim, per KSL.com. 

The agency has initiated special investigations into 38 separate Tesla crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems since 2016, per Reuters. They've collectively resulted in 19 deaths, including the Utah victim.

The latest probe comes shortly after the safety agency expanded an investigation into Tesla's Autopilot system to cover 830,000 vehicles, on June 9. 

If a safety defect is found, the agency could force Tesla to recall vehicles to fix the problem, per The New York Times. NHTSA hopes to conclude the investigation — which involves Model Y, Model X, Model S and Model 3 cars sold in the US between 2014 and 2022 — within a year, per The New York Times. 

Tesla first introduce its Autopilot feature in 2015 but has yet to realize Elon Musk's vision for fully self-driving cars

The company is involved in several lawsuits filed by drivers or the families of victims killed in crashes.

June figures released by the agency revealed that of all manufacturers providing automated driver assistance, Teslas have been involved in the most, accounting for 273 of 392 autonomous vehicle incidents since July 2021. 

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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