NHTSA will not open formal probe into October 1 Tesla Model S fire

Article by Anita Panait, on October 28, 2013

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided not to open a formal probe into a Tesla Model S fire that broke out after it ran over debris on a Washington state highway. NHTSA, in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, said that it found no evidence that the Oct. 1, 2013 fire resulted from a vehicle defect or violations of US safety standards.

The regulator didn't field investigators to the scene of the Tesla Model S fire since it was the first day of a 16-day US government shutdown. Following consultations with Tesla, NHTSA decided not to commence an investigation process, which can result to recalls.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland remarked on Oct. 22 that the regulator was "gathering data" on the fire, which wrecked the Model S.

NHTSA launched formal investigations into fires in two other battery-powered vehicles -- the Chevrolet Volt and the Fisker Karma – which led to recalls. According to Tesla, the lithium ion battery in the Model S caught fire after the sedan collided with a large metallic object on a road in Kent, Wash.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk stood up for the car's safety in an Oct. 5 blog post, saying that the crash was unusual and would have also resulted in a fire even if the vehicle is conventionally powered by gasoline.

The brand-new Tesla Model S, the world’s first full electric sedan, is a revolutionary creation in the world of automotive engineering. Fusing enhanced performance, maximum safety, and peak efficiency, it has changed the world’s perception of a golden standard for the vehicle of the 21st century with the highest obtainable safety ratings, the longest range of any electric car, and over-the-air software updates that are incessantly making it better.

Tesla Architecture

Created on the cutting-edge platform of Tesla, the battery’s location on the floor allows the Tesla Model S an extremely low center of gravity, significantly reducing the possibility of rollover while strengthening handling and performance at the same time. Without an engine, the all-new Tesla Model S has a crumple zone that is greater than any other performance sedan to absorb the energy of a front end impact.

Safety

Tesla Model S is one of the most secured vehicles on the road. Much of its security is owed to the fact that a distinct electric drivetrain sits underneath the car. Model S has a low center of gravity which lessens the risk of rollovers. Model S’s safety record is attested to by its NHTSA and Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating along with establishing a record of the least likelihood of accident to occupants when tried in the United States.

With standard active safety features including self-activating emergency brake, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, collision warning, autosteer, autopark, summon, traffic-aware cruise control, and other optional convenient features, Tesla Model S is still the safest vehicle on the road.

Electric All Wheel Drive

With two engines, one in the front and the other in the rear, Tesla Model S digitally and independently operates torque to the front and rear wheels. The product is unrivalled traction control in any environment. Unlike traditional all-wheel drive cars that compromise fuel effectivity for enhanced traction, Tesla’s Electric All Wheel Drive system enhances effectivity.

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