Tesla says no safety defects exist with suspensions in vehicles

Tesla Motors says the suspensions of its cars are free from defects related to safety.

“There is no safety defect with the suspensions in either the Model S or Model X,” Tesla said in a blog post Thursday. “Since we own all of our service centers, we are aware of every incident that happens with our customer cars, and we are aware of every part that gets replaced.”

The statement from the Palo Alto-based automaker came after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is conducting an examination of safety issues related to vehicle suspension systems.

“NHTSA is examining the potential suspension issue on the Tesla Model S and is seeking additional information from vehicle owners and the company,” said Bryce Thomas, a spokesman for the federal agency.

Tesla said it investigates fully whenever there is a question related to one of the parts in its electric vehicles.

Tesla, which produces its vehicles in its Fremont assembly plant, also indicated that it believes the suspension in question is an isolated incident.

“The suspension ball joint experienced very abnormal rust,” the company said in its post. “We haven’t seen this on any other car, suggesting a very unusual use case. The car had over 70,000 miles on it, and its owner lives down such a long dirt road that it required two tow trucks to retrieve the car.”

The NHTSA also said it is looking into reports that Tesla has asked customers to sign nondisclosure agreements in connection with repairs handled by the automaker. Tesla said these are “goodwill” agreements and don’t amount to gag orders imposed on the customers.

Tesla shares fell 2.4 percent Thursday and plummeted again on Friday.

“Tesla has never and would never ask a customer to sign a document to prevent them from talking to NHTSA or any other government agency,” the company stated in the blog. “That is preposterous.”


Photo: Tesla Motors’ electric vehicle factory in Fremont. (Bay Area News Group)


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