Federal agency investigates fiery EV crash that killed California family

The manufacturer's logo in front center of the VinFast VF8 electric SUV, at the VinFast California Showcase event, on Historic Main Street in Garden Grove on Saturday, June 25, 2022. VinFast, a Vietnamese car manufacturing company, is holding events at various California locations to display their premium EV and take orders from customers for end-of-the-year delivery. The four-year old company intends to build a manufacturing plant in North Carolina by 2024.
The manufacturer's logo on the VinFast VF 8. VinFast is a Vietnam-based multinational car manufacturer that was founded in 2017. (Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)

For the record:
9:32 a.m. May 24, 2024: An earlier version of this article said the National Highway Safety Board was investigating the crash. It’s the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A Vietnamese-manufactured electric vehicle is now under review by federal investigators after one of its models was involved in a fiery crash that killed a Pleasanton, Calif., family of four.

Tarun George and his wife, Rincy George, both 41, and sons Rowan, 13, and Aaron, 9, died when their VinFast VF 8 crashed April 24. As they traveled down Foothill Road in Pleasanton around 9 p.m., their car "appeared to have lost control and collided with a large oak tree," according to a Pleasanton Police Department report.

Speed may have been a factor in the incident, according to police officials.

Investigators later discovered that the car collided with a pole and then a tree, and that it caught fire immediately after the collisions. When the department was clearing the scene that night, the car reportedly reignited a few times, according to KABC-TV.

VinFast is a Vietnam-based multinational car manufacturer that was founded in 2017.

Read more: U.S. to investigate fatal crash that may have involved Ford partially automated driving system

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the VinFast VF 8 in response to a complaint filed by a co-worker of one of the Georges.

In the complaint, the co-worker said that the VF 8's software turned the steering wheel to the right erroneously more than once when the co-worker was driving, pulling the car out of its lane. The co-worker, who was able to regain control of the steering wheel and maneuver the car into the correct lane, expressed concern that caused the George family's crash.

VinFast representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the VinFast website, the VF 8 model comes equipped with "Advanced Driving Assistance" features, but it is unclear whether they played a role in the crash.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.