NHTSA starts preliminary probe on Tesla Model S

Article by Anita Panait, on November 20, 2013

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has commenced a preliminary evaluation on the Tesla Model S following three fire incidents involving the plug-in electric sedan that occurred in just five weeks. In a Web site posting, the NHTSA said it would probe into the fire risks from the cars' undercarriages striking objects.

The preliminary probe, which could lead into a recall, involves 13,108 Model S vehicles.  Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said last week that "there's definitely not going to be a recall."

Hours before the filing, Musk said in a blog post that Tesla sought the evaluation to counter "false perceptions" about the safety of the Model S. He also said that the carmaker will amend its warranty to cover damage caused by fires and will update its air suspension to enable greater ground clearance at highway speeds.

Musk wrote that if the probe discovers something that would result in a material improvement in occupant fire safety, Tesla will immediately apply it on new cars, and will “offer it as a free retrofit to all existing cars." He, however, said that such situation is highly unlikely.

Two of the fire incidents were in the US and involved the Model S running over metal objects that punctured its lithium-ion battery packs. The third was reported in Mexico on Oct. 18. The drivers of the cars were uninjured in all the fires.  A recall of the Model S could occur if the NHTSA determined that Tesla should address a safety issue.

If you liked the article, share on:


Login or Create new account to add a comment!


Mitsubishi is now officially part of the Renault-Nissan alliance after Nissan took over the Japanese car company recently. We know a lot has been happening in the car industry, but...
by - October 24, 2016
Driving the newest 2017 BMW 5-Series (G30), Clive Owen (Closer, Children of Men) returns to his role as “The Driver”. In this latest installment, what initially starts as a simple...
by - October 24, 2016
Many had wished that a Lamborghini Huracán Superleggera would somehow make a surprise debut at the recently held Paris Motor Show. Sadly, not a single Lamborghini appeared anywhere in sight....
by - October 24, 2016
Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing teamed up for the first time in creating what looks like one of the most ferocious beasts in history. The British car manufacturer has...
by - October 24, 2016
German premium carmaker Audi is reportedly planning to buy back around 25,000 Audi Q7 SUVs powered by its 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine in the United States. The buyback should compensate...
by - October 24, 2016