Earlier this week, we reported on an accident involving a Tesla Model X on Autopilot over the weekend. The vehicle reportedly veered off road and hit a guardrail made of large wooden posts. The impact destroyed the passenger side of the Model X and detached the front wheel, but fortunately, both occupants were not injured.

Following the accident, the driver claimed that the Autopilot veered off road on its own, but Tesla has now issued a statement regarding the accident and claims that the data log shows that the driver didn’t respond to an alert to hold the steering wheel, which they say led to the accident.

The driver of the vehicle talked to CNN identifying himself as Pang. He insists that he did not receive alerts, but he also told the news agency that he speaks Mandarin and that the vehicle was set to English.

Montana State Trooper Jade Shope said that Pang received a traffic citation for careless driving due to the accident.

As we discussed in our first article about the incident, it happened on a road without a center divider and Tesla doesn’t recommend to use Autosteer in those conditions, which is something the company points out in its statement along with sensors not detecting hands on the wheels after the alert.

Here’s the full statement a spokesperson sent us:

“This vehicle was being driven along an undivided mountain road shortly after midnight with autosteer enabled. The data suggests that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel, as no force was detected on the steering wheel for over 2 minutes after autosteer was engaged (even a very small amount of force, such as one hand resting on the wheel, will be detected). This is contrary to the terms of use that are agreed to when enabling the feature and the notification presented in the instrument cluster each time it is activated.
 
As road conditions became increasingly uncertain, the vehicle again alerted the driver to put his hands on the wheel. He did not do so and shortly thereafter the vehicle collided with a post on the edge of the roadway.
 
Autosteer, which is enabled via the Driver Assistance tab under Settings, is best suited either for highways with a center divider or any road while in slow-moving traffic. We specifically advise against its use at high speeds on undivided roads.
 
That said, provided the driver remains alert, it will still be safer than a person driving unaided, as people are sometimes distracted or may become unable to operate the vehicle, due to falling sleep, fainting or experiencing a medical emergency. After either high lateral acceleration from a sharp corner is detected or there is no force on the steering wheel, the vehicle gradually reduces speed, stops and turns on the emergency lights.”