U.S. Regulator Launches Probe of VinFast Crash in California in Which Four Died

U.S. auto safety investigators said on Monday they have launched an investigation into the April crash of a VinFast 0TL.F, VFS.O VF 8 electric vehicle in Pleasanton, California, in which a family of four died.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the investigation will probe the April 24 crash circumstances and the ensuing fire. A complaint filed with the agency on April 29 said steering may have been an issue in the crash that killed a couple along with their children aged 13 and 9.

Pleasanton Police said the driver in the single-vehicle accident appeared to have lost control and collided with a large oak tree and that speed may have been a factor.

Vietnamese automaker VinFast, which started selling vehicles in the United States in 2023, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Pleasanton Weekly earlier this month quoted a VinFast spokesperson as saying the automaker was aware of the accident, adding: “The authorities are currently investigating the cause of the accident and will share their findings when their work is completed.”

The agency typically opens more than 100 special crash investigations annually into emerging technologies and other potential auto safety issues.

The complaint filed with NHTSA on April 29 by a coworker of the driver in the fatal crash said that in a separate incident the steering wheel automatically maneuvered to the right but the coworker was able to regain control of the steering wheel and was concerned the steering issue had reoccurred in the fatal crash.

Police told media that the family did not own the car.

TechCrunch reported the investigation earlier on Monday.

(Reporting by Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Michael PerryEditing by Leslie Adler, Matthew Lewis and Michael Perry)