November 19th, 2013
Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com
Following three high profile fires, two in the United States and one in Mexico, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced today that the agency has opened a formal probe into the safety or the Tesla Model-S electric car.
The investigation centers around "undercarriage strikes" where metal road debris run over by the car pierced the battery compartment and caused a catastrophic runaway reaction resulting in the total loss of the vehicle. In the NHTSA announcement, they point out that in all cases, the vehicle provided ample audio and visual warnings to the driver well before the battery
Tesla's vocal CEO and founder, Elon Musk, maintains that the Model-S is still safer than any gasoline powered vehicle available for sale and points out that thousands of gasoline powered vehicles have been destroyed by fires caused by ruptured fuel tanks.
Tesla announced today, before the NHTSA release, that it would be asking the agency to conduct an investigation into the fires. Additionally, Tesla would be amending warranty coverage to include damage due to a battery fire. Telsa will send a software update to all Model-S to use the air suspension to raise the ride height.