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U.S. investigates fatal VinFast EV crash in California

According to a complaint filed with NHTSA on April 29, steering issues may have contributed to the crash.

U.S. auto safety investigators have launched an investigation into the deadly crash of a VinFast VF 8 electric vehicle in Pleasanton, California, where a family of four perished. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Monday that it will probe the circumstances of the April 24 crash and the subsequent fire.

The tragic accident claimed the lives of a couple and their children, aged 13 and 9. According to a complaint filed with NHTSA on April 29, steering issues may have contributed to the crash. Pleasanton Police reported that the driver appeared to have lost control of the vehicle, which then collided with a large oak tree, suggesting that speed might have been a factor.

VinFast, a Vietnamese automaker that began selling vehicles in the United States in 2023, has not yet responded to requests for comment. However, a VinFast spokesperson told the Pleasanton Weekly earlier this month that the company is aware of the accident and that authorities are investigating the cause.

NHTSA’s investigation will look into the specifics of the crash, including any potential issues with the vehicle’s steering system. The complaint that prompted the investigation was filed by a coworker of the driver, who reported experiencing a similar steering issue in a separate incident. In that case, the steering wheel maneuvered to the right automatically, but the coworker was able to regain control.

Nevertheless, NHTSA routinely opens over 100 special crash investigations each year to examine emerging technologies and other potential auto safety concerns. The findings from this investigation could have significant implications for VinFast and its future in the U.S. market.

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