Tesla shares slide as US authorities investigate fatal California crash

Tesla shares slid Tuesday as the car maker investigates a fatal crash in California and the US NTSB said it was beginning its own probe.

Tesla shares slide as US authorities investigate fatal California crash

Tesla shares sank in the US Tuesday trading session, as the US NTSB said it was investigating the fatal crash in California involving a Tesla Model X. Tesla said it was also working to uncover the exact details of what happened during the accident.

Ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service, meanwhile, has downgraded the electric car maker’s credit rating to B3 from B2.

Tesla shares slid 8.22% to close at $279.18. The stock is also in the red in after-hours activity.

Tesla crash investigation

Tesla has shared some details about the crash in a blog post. The ambitious car maker said it wasn’t clear whether or not the cars autopilot mode was engaged before the accident. However, it also said that data shows autopilot had been used some 85,000 on that stretch of road in California.

Elon Musk’s company said they had never seen a Tesla car with so much damage and were still working to retrieve the log.

In addition, Tesla added the crash was likely so severe due to the crash barrier on that exact part of the highway which had been damaged.

Amid Tesla’s own investigation into the crash, the US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) tweeted it was also launching an official investigation into the Tesla crash.

“2 NTSB investigators conducting Field Investigation for fatal March 23, 2018, crash of a Tesla near Mountain View, CA,” the Federal agency tweeted. “Unclear if automated control system was active at time of crash.”

Moody’s credit downgrade

Separately, but also weighing on the stock, comes the news that Moody’s has downgraded its Tesla rating and outlook.

The Investor Service has a Negative outlook on Tesla, down from a Stable one previously. The reduction comes as the car maker continues to experience production delays on the Model 3.

“Tesla's ratings reflect the significant shortfall in the production rate of the company's Model 3 electric vehicle,” Moody’s said.

“The company also faces liquidity pressures due to its large negative free cash flow and the pending maturities of convertible bonds ($230 million in November 2018 and $920 million in March 2019),” it added.

This double blow to the company comes hot on the heels of the board agreeing a huge pay deal for CEO Elon Musk.

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