Cruise reveals DOJ, SEC probes as it releases internal report on pedestrian crash | TechCrunch
Cruise, the GM self-driving subsidiary, said Thursday that federal prosecutors and securities regulators have opened investigations into the October 2 incident that left a pedestrian stuck under and then dragged by one of its robotaxis.
The probes by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which were revealed as part of an internal report released Thursday, join numerous other investigations at nearly every level of government, including the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Public Utilities Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The October 2 incident — and the decisions by Cruise leadership in the days following — has put the company’s future at risk and forced GM to slash costs and take greater control of the troubled company. Cruise lost the permits it needed to operate commercially in the state of California and has since grounded its fleet elsewhere. Its co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt resigned and nearly 24% of its workforce had been laid off in the wake of the event.
Problems with Cruise began almost immediately after the company received the last remaining permit required to operate its robotaxi service commercially throughout San Francisco. But it was the Ocotber 2 that sent the company into freefall.
One that day, a pedestrian was initially hit by a human-driven car and landed in the path of a Cruise robotaxi and run over. It wouldn’t be until days later that media and some regulators, learned that the stopped robotaxi then tried to pull over, dragging the pedestrian 20 feet. It was that lack of disclosure — along with the robotaxi’s decision to execute a dangerous maneuver — that escalated Cruise’s already tentative relationhip with regulators.
Now, an internal report conducted by Quinn Emanuel shows how a lack of judgement, and missteps by leadership, an “us versus them” relationship with regulators and a fixation on correcting the inaccurate media narrative that the Cruise AV, not the Nissan, had caused the accident were all contributing factors to Cruise’s problems, according to the 195-page report.
“This myopic focus led Cruise to convey the information about the Nissan hit-and-run driver having caused the Accident to the media, regulators, and other government officials, but to omit other important information about the Accident. Even after obtaining the Full Video, Cruise did not correct the public narrative but continued instead to share incomplete facts and video about the Accident with the media and the public. This conduct has caused both regulators and the media to accuse Cruise of misleading them.”
This story is developing …