March 28, 2018 / 1:27 AM / 4 months ago

Panasonic shares dive on U.S. probe into fatal Tesla crash

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares of Japan’s Panasonic Corp (6752.T) fell 6 percent early on Wednesday after the United States began a federal field investigation into last week’s fatal crash and vehicle fire of major battery customer Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Panasonic produces lithium-ion batteries for Tesla in a joint venture with the California-based electric car maker. News of the federal investigation had sent Tesla’s shares tumbling more than 8 percent on Tuesday to close at the lowest level in almost a year.

In last week’s accident near Mountain View, California, the lithium batteries of the Tesla Model X caught fire, and emergency officials consulted company engineers before determining how to extinguish the battery fire and move the vehicle safely.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and Minami Funakoshi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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