According to Tesla data shared by South Jordan police in a statement, the driver repeatedly engaged and disengaged Tesla's Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control on multiple occasions while traveling around suburbs south of Salt Lake City.
According to local media, police said the woman at the wheel of the vehicle claimed it was in a self-driving mode and that her attention was on her phone.
"Consistent with NHTSA's oversight and authority over the safety of all motor vehicles and equipment, the agency has launched its special crash investigations team to gather information on the South Jordon [sic], Utah, crash".
Police say the vehicle smashed into a stationary firetruck at around 100km/h, leaving the driver with a broken right ankle. They said that the vehicle registered over a dozen instances of her hands off the steering wheel.
Tesla advises drivers that they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times while using Autopilot, which the company says does not make the vehicle "autonomous".
The driver of the firetruck was checked for whiplash injuries but did not go to the hospital.
Sharing details about how Tesla Model 3 has earned the "superior" rating for the front crash prevention tests, IIHS has revealed that the vehicle passed the 12 miles per hour and 25 miles per hour front crash prevention tests by successfully avoiding a crash at both the speed levels.
"Tesla has always been clear that Autopilot doesn't make the vehicle impervious to all accidents", the statement said.
The South Jordan Police Department confirmed today that the driver received a traffic citation for "failure to keep proper lookout".
Tesla's Autopilot relies on a system of radar, cameras with 360-degree visibility and sensors to detect nearby objects and perform basic functions such as parking, steering and emergency braking, which Tesla advertises as being able to "detect objects and automatically apply brakes to help avoid or lessen impact".
Meanwhile, Tesla's chief executive officer has repeatedly lambasted the coverage of the crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is dispatching a team to investigate a recent crash in South Jordan in which the driver of a Tesla vehicle reported she had placed the auto on autopilot mode at the time of the crash, Reuters reports.
Furthermore, it's now the fourth investigation into a crash involving a Tesla vehicle in just 2 months, which might be a record.
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.
Also in March, an Arizona pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber auto with a backup driver behind the wheel.