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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    NHTSA Opens Probe Into Tesla Model-S Fires

    November 19th, 2013

    Drew Dowdell

    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.

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    Marketing Spin, this man is all about Marketing Spin and is looking at the potential for a silver lining of his car is so safe regardless of it burning down around your feet, everyone will want one.

    Wait and see, it is a 50/50 gamble that might or might not pay off.

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    Pure hubris on Musk's part. Spinner of tales. His statistics "proving" the safety of his car v. real cars don't take into account the length of time his cars have been on the road, they're still relatively new. Not enough time has passed to get a complete picture.

    The humble Nissan Leaf, according to the manufacturer, has not been involved in a fire in an owner's hands.

    And now he is going to WARRANTY against these type of events? How is he going to do that? Instead of admitting to his failures... he is going to pay people to take another Tesla after it burns to the ground. Hilarious.

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    I'm wondering if he asked for it so he will (he thinks) be vindicated by the results.

    He'll be vindicated either way. If everything checks out, his vehicle remains the safest car ever in North America. If there is a problem, he has taken the initiative to find the flaw(s), fix them and provide good customer service.

    Pure hubris on Musk's part. Spinner of tales.

    And now he is going to WARRANTY against these type of events? How is he going to do that? Instead of admitting to his failures... he is going to pay people to take another Tesla after it burns to the ground. Hilarious.

    It's called corporate responsibility.

    Something that the rest of the auto industry has rarely been good at.

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