Tesla: Crash was worsened by missing freeway barrier shield

FILE - This Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, file photo shows the logo of the Tesla Model S on display at the Paris Auto Show in Paris. Tesla Inc. reports earnings Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

Tesla says a fatal crash on a Silicon Valley freeway involving an electric SUV was made more severe by a highway barrier with a damaged or missing piece designed to protect drivers.

The company also says on its website that it doesn't know what caused the crash or whether the Model X SUV was operating on its semi-autonomous "Autopilot" system. The company says it's working with authorities to recover logs from the damaged SUV's computer.

The vehicle was traveling at "freeway speed" on Friday when it hit the barrier on U.S. 101 near Mountain View. The California Highway Patrol says the SUV caught fire for unknown reasons. A 38-year-old man was killed.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a two-person team to investigate the crash.

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