NHTSA asks Tesla to submit all pertinent fire-related Model S documents

Article by Anita Panait, on December 5, 2013

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Tesla Motors to submit detailed pertinent records until January 14, 2014, as part of its probe into the fire incidents involving Tesla Model S vehicles. The records include customer complaints, field reports, warranty claims and property damage claims to assess defect allegations.

The probe aims to look into possibility of road debris impacting the battery pack of the vehicle and causing a short, stall or fire. According to a report by Detroit News, the NHTSA is seeking the results of any internal "tests, studies, surveys, simulations, internal investigations and any other Tesla efforts" to probe allegations of a defect in the Model S.

Tesla has to inform the government whether it has implemented any "changes to the design, material, composition or function" of the Model S to address defect allegations.

In a letter, the NHTSA asked Tesla to "describe in detail all possible consequences to the vehicle from an impact to the subject component that damages the battery.”

The regulator has also asked the carmaker how it addressed those possible consequences in the design of the vehicle. NHTSA also asked Tesla to discuss the limits of the design to prevent damage to the propulsion battery, stalling and fires.

The carmaker is likewise asked to submit any documents issued to dealers, regional offices, fleet purchasers and other entities related to the alleged defect –bulletins, advisories and informational documents. Tesla is also asked to submit detailed engineering drawings of the "subject component," including all battery components and sub-assemblies.

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