NHTSA Closes Tesla Motors Investigation with No ‘Defect Trend’ Found

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed the investigation into the Tesla Motor’s Model S electric car determining that no ‘defect trend’ has been identified.

The investigation launched following three Tesla Model S fires in a relatively short time frame.

This announcement follows on from one made by the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt — the German Federal Motor Transport Authority — in December 2013 who carried out a full safety analysis of the Tesla Model S following three incidents and determined there was no safety issue.

In a statement on the NHTSA website the  Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) say:

ODI believes impacts with road debris are normal and foreseeable. In this case, Tesla’s revision of vehicle ride height and addition of increased underbody protection should reduce both the frequency of underbody strikes and the resultant fire risk. A defect trend has not been identified. Accordingly, the investigation is closed.

Tesla today announced that is is improving the underbody protection of the Model S, using a triple-layer Aluminium-Titanium-Aluminium battery shield on all new cars. This is upgrade will also be made available to all current Model S drivers at their next service or sooner if they wish.

In response to this news, Tesla’s shares on the Nasdaq have gone up.

What is your view of the whole ‘Tesla fire’ story? Has this been handled correctly by all those involved? Let us know in the comments.


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