According to a statement released South Jordan released Wednesday, Tesla technicians recovered data recorded by the vehicle and they found the driver had repeatedly engaged, canceled and re-engaged the car's Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control functions.
South Jordan police released a summary of findings from the vehicle Wednesday showing the driver hadn't touched the Model S's steering wheel for 80 seconds before hitting the truck at a red light.
The driver re-enabled Autopilot 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, let go of the wheel 2 seconds later and then didn't touch the wheel again before hitting the truck at 60 miles per hour (97 kph).
The 28-year-old female driver of the Tesla vehicle admitting she was looking at her phone prior to the collision, according to the police.
Drivers are repeatedly advised Autopilot features do not make Tesla vehicles "autonomous" and that the driver absolutely must remain vigilant with their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and they must be prepared to take any and all action necessary to avoid hazards on the road.
"It's super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in U.S. auto accidents alone in past year get nearly no coverage", Musk said in a tweet.
The driver of the firetruck was checked for whiplash injuries but did not go to the hospital.
The vehicle registered more than a dozen instances of her hands being off the steering wheel in this drive cycle.
The May 11 accident appears to be a textbook case of distracted driving exacerbated by technology that, despite providing visual and audio warnings to drivers, is easy for humans to abuse.
Police told FOX 13 that the woman reported she was using the car's autopilot feature at the time of the crash, which happened on Bangerter Highway and 10400 S around 6:30 p.m. that day.
It is the third Tesla crash since January that the NHTSA is investigating that may have been linked to autopilot. "Each time she put her hands back on the wheel, she took them back off the wheel after a few seconds".
Police issued the driver a traffic citation for failure to keep proper lookout.
It's unclear if that system activated before the Utah crash.
Tesla said that the driver did not heed repeated warnings from the auto to resume control of the vehicle.
The "superior" rating which Model 3 has achieved for IIHS' front crash prevention tests is the same as the rating already achieved by Tesla's Model S and Model X electric vehicles.
Tesla says the system is not created to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely; it's unclear if the system activated before this crash.
The NTSB is investigating the other three Tesla incidents being looked at by NHTSA, as well as an August 2017 Tesla battery fire in California, in which an owner ran the vehicle into his garage.