Tesla Model Y rear-ends Yamaha motorcycle, kills rider

Occurred: July 2022

A Tesla Model Y SUV rear-ended a green Yamaha V-Star motorcycle on a freeway in darkness outside Riverside, California, killing the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene. 

According to the California Highway Patrol, the Tesla had been traveling east in the high occupancy lane, with a Yamaha V Star motorcycle ahead of it. The Tesla hit the Yamaha from behind, throwing the motorcyclist off the Yamaha. 

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it is investigating the incident, one of three involving motorbikes that were rear-ended and resulted in fatalities. 

The similarity of the three incidents raised concerns that Tesla's Autopilot system is failing to detect objects in difficult light situations, and that Elon Musk's decision to use cameras over advanced radar and LiDAR, likely as a way to cut costs, may be to blame.

Developer: Tesla
Country: USA
Sector: Automotive
Purpose: Automate steering, acceleration, braking
Technology: Driver assistance system
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Safety
Transparency: Black box