Quoted: Elon Musk on NHTSA investigation into Tesla Model S fires

“If a false perception about the safety of electric cars is allowed to linger, it will delay the advent of sustainable transport and increase the risk of global climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences worldwide. That cannot be allowed to happen.”

Elon Musk, Tesla Motors CEO, in a blog post late Monday in which he said “we have requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conduct a full investigation as soon as possible” into a couple of Tesla Model S fires in the United States. (Another recent Model S fire happened in Mexico.) Since news of the first fire in Washington state, Musk has defended the safety of the Model S and electric cars in general. Neither driver in each of the fires in the United States was injured.

The investigation by the NHTSA was officially opened Nov. 15, according to documents posted on the agency’s website. Musk, who has said there would be no recalls of the Model S, wrote in his blog post that while he thinks it’s “highly unlikely, if something is discovered that would result in a material improvement in occupant fire safety, we will immediately apply that change to new cars and offer it as a free retrofit to all existing cars.” The investigation covers more than 13,000 Model S vehicles sold in the United States.

In his blog post Monday, Musk also criticized media coverage of the fires as sensational while expressing “appreciation for the investigative journalists who took the time to research and write an accurate article.”

In August, the NHTSA gave the Model S a five-star safety rating overall and in every subcategory. As Dana Hull wrote for SiliconBeat, Tesla proudly announced that the Model S got the best safety rating of any car ever tested.


Photo: Tesla launches the Model S at its factory in Fremont, Calif., on June 22, 2012. (Patrick Tehan/Mercury News)


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  • SlippySlope

    Do you think there could be any correlation between NHTSA five-star safety rating overall and in every subcategory given the Model S in August and the Washington administration’s agenda? And, then the inconvenient fires….