A Minnesota driver appeared to blame a weekend rollover on his Tesla's autopilot feature.
But according to Tesla founder Elon Musk, that driver has now reversed course – saying he actually turned off the autopilot right before the crash.
David Clark of Eden Prairie initially told the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office he had "engaged the auto pilot feature" while driving in Irving Township Saturday evening, and the vehicle suddenly accelerated off the roadway.
But maybe not
The story got picked up widely, usually with some type of "driver blames Tesla's autopilot in crash" headline.
Musk Monday tweeted that's "not true." Attached to the tweet, he included quotes from an email he claims was sent by Clark to Tesla and the sheriff's office.
In the message (which doesn't include any context or clear proof it was emailed), the driver says he had actually disengaged the autopilot system by stepping on the accelerator.
He felt the car hit loose gravel and go off the road, and says that was the feeling he was trying to describe. He's also "truly thankful" Tesla's engineering of safety features kept anyone from getting seriously hurt.
What the sheriff's office says
Chief Deputy Greg Stehn told GoMN he was aware of Musk's efforts to spread this new message, but said he couldn't comment any further.
Stehn said the investigation is open, and they're gathering all the info they can right now. They'll send that to the county attorney's office for a review once it's complete, a process that should be done by next week.
Stehn wouldn't confirm whether Clark had indeed sent an email re-explaining the crash.
Clark did speak about it with the Star Tribune, saying he's trying to get the sheriff's office to change his official account.
Tesla – which has been able to pull data logs from previous crashes – has offered its full cooperation, Electrek reported.