Musk gives CBS a tour of Tesla Model 3 production line

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The NTSB said it expects Tesla's cooperation with data requests in the investigation of the Mountain View crash.

Part of the problem has been the company's heavy use of automation, Musk said, noting that the company is working to resolve this problem. In response, Tesla has reportedly been in a spat with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is the body responsible for investigating fatal crashes in the US.

"It is unfortunate that Tesla, by its actions, did not abide by the party agreement", said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt.

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On Thursday, Tesla said it chose to stop being a party to the investigation.

Responding to the watchdog's statement, a Tesla spokesperson told Teslarati: "It's been clear in our conversations with the NTSB that they're more concerned with press headlines than actually promoting safety".

Removing a party to an investigation is rare but has happened in the past, according to the agency. The driver, Walter Huang, 38, a software engineer for Apple, was killed in the crash. It's unclear how much the results of the NTSB investigation would or will influence the public's perception of Tesla vehicles or Tesla's own ability to diagnose or improve technological weaknesses, but it seems that Tesla would have the investigation resources in-house that it needs and that it's expected to handle technical investigations like this adequately itself. This is the heart of the spat between the auto maker and NTSB, as the federal agency told the Washington Post it was "unhappy" that Tesla released this information. The family of the late driver is reportedly planning to file a wrongful-death suit against Tesla, claiming that its Autopilot feature is defective. The Model 3's rollout has been "mired in glitches and delays", and Tesla has hemorrhaged money quarter after quarter. In the crash, a 38-year-old man was killed when his Model X struck a freeway barrier that was either missing or had a damaged safety shield.

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Tesla insists that public safety is its priority. And that situation could worsen as more alternatives to the Tesla come to market, warned Gordon Johnson, an analyst with the Vertical Group during a CNBC interview. He said in an interview with Cheddar that it would take Tesla "11 quarters" to reach profitability.

Tesla, a pioneer in driver-assistance technology with its Autopilot system, has lagged automakers including General Motors in embracing driver monitoring. "If anything, the NTSB is shining a spotlight on Tesla due to their innovation", Friedman said. Insiders sold 5,529 shares of company stock valued at $1,786,841 in the last three months. "You know. Terrible", he said. The features are far from full self-driving and if the human behind the steering wheel takes their hands off it, they will be warned by the auto.

"We empathise with Mr Huang's family, who are understandably facing loss and grief, but the false impression that Autopilot is unsafe will cause harm to others on the road", Tesla said in an email after Huang's family announced it had hired a lawyer.

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In its statement Thursday, Tesla accused the NTSB of focusing on the "safest cars in America" while ignoring less-safe vehicles.