Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Model S Fires: There Won't be a Recall
November 13, 2013 10:01 AM
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk
(Source: Associated Press)
Musk added that a lot of the media has delivered "inaccurate" and "unreasonable" reports in regards to the Model S fires
CEO Elon Musk has responded to the recent
Model S fires
occurring around North America and he made one thing clear: there will
be a Model S recall
“There’s definitely not going to be a recall," said Musk according to a new report from
. "We’re about five times less likely to have a fire than an average gasoline car. There are 200,000 gasoline car fires per year in the United States, 200,000. There are on average 250 to 300 automotive fire deaths in the U.S. How many times have you read about that?”
Musk added that a lot of the media has delivered "inaccurate" and "unreasonable" reports in regards to the Model S fires.
Musk's comments were prompted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) decision to review the most recent Model S fire.
The first fire took place in early October of this year. A Model S driver in Kent, Washington was traveling southbound on State Route 167 when he hit a piece of metal debris on the freeway and
subsequently caught fire
Tesla spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean said that a large metallic object hitting one of the battery pack modules caused the fire. The NHTSA did not investigate the fire at the time because of the partial government shutdown, which suspended such activity.
The second Model S fire occurred shortly after near Merida, Mexico, but that's out of NHTSA's jurisdiction.
The third incident occurred just days ago when a Model S driver in Murfreesboro, Tennessee hit a tow hitch on Interstate 24, which damaged the car’s undercarriage and caused a fire. The driver was able to exit the vehicle safely.
Special focus is being placed on the fact that the Model S' battery is located low in the body (to make for a lower center of gravity), making the battery an easy target when striking debris or hitting pavement.
Tesla said all three fires were caused by crashes; not spontaneous events.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/13/2013 1:40:58 PM
It's not just
that need to be taken into account. When a Model S has an "underside" collision causing battery pack damage it may result in a fire. What could/would/might happen to a "normal" car, that lacks underside protection, when struck from below by heavy lumps of curved metal. Perhaps an occupant would be injured/killed, perhaps such an impact would cause an unprotected vehicle to crash but not cause a fire.
Focusing on vehicle fires draws attention away from the fact that these were "crashes", impacts, that happened to result in fires. A statistical analysis on purely vehicle fires could well lead to the wrong conclusions.
11/13/2013 2:35:05 PM
An underside impact could puncture the gas tank or sever the fuel line triggering a fuel leak and starting a fire. Tesla's battery packs are much more heavily armored than the fuel system on a conventional ICE vehicle.
11/13/2013 10:18:25 PM
With the advent of pressurized, double-walled, self-sealing tanks and how gasoline itself burns is less likely to start a major fire.
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