Auto-pilot sounds nothing more than 'smart cruise control' (the smart being to adjust speed with traffic), lane assist, and auto-braking (as seen on other cars). If you turn on cruise control and stop paying attention to the road, you too can run into a semi truck. if you assume you can let your hands off the wheel because 'lane assist' will keep you in the lane, you too could end up careening off the highway.
I think Tesla's biggest mistake in all of this is the product NAME: "Autopilot". It has an implication that it will drive for you (because the common perception of autopilot is the same as 'self-driving' or "look, my car's driving so I can take a nap or read a book!"). Which I'm sure the lawsuit that will be filed will contend.
The whole Fortune side of this is just standard publishing practice for decades. Write a story, wait until the last minute (preferably right before a weekend, and in this case, it was a holiday weekend!) and ask for comment. Who's going to be around to comment? And then just run the story with a "We asked tesla to comment and they didn't" line in there. What would Fortune have done if Tesla did respond with reams of information that basically shot the entire story full of holes and they'd have to rewrite it, or even toss it out? That'd be a waste of money. So make sure you don't risk that happening by giving them no chance to do that!