A federal agency is investigating a crash involving a Model S that may have been operating in autopilot during a crash that killed three people.

The advanced driver-assistance system ( ) that performs automated functions is called autopilot. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

In Newport Beach, California, a car was totaled when the car hit a curb and slammed into construction equipment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating more than 30 crashes, all of which may have been caused by autopilot. Since 2016 there have been 35 special crash investigations into the electric vehicle company, of which three have ruled out autopilot.

Fourteen crash deaths have been reported in those investigations.

This month's collision is the 42nd to be included in the NHTSA's special crash investigation of ADAS systems like autopilot, a probe that began in 2016 after a fatal accident in Florida involving anotherTesla Model S that had autopilot activated.

The company's branding has been accused of misleading drivers of their vehicles. The company lulls drivers into a false sense of security by using names like autopilot and full self-driving software, even though its technology is nowhere near.

US safety regulator opens investigation into Tesla Autopilot following crashes with parked emergency vehicles