Recall for Tesla's Model S Up in the Air

By | November 14, 2013
Although it isn't up to Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, he believes there won't be a recall of the electric vehicle in relation to the fires that occurred over the last five weeks. The U.S. regulators are currently deciding if the fires were caused by a defect or a design flaw, but no recall has been announced. When looking at the first vehicle that caught fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined the fire wasn't started because of a design flaw or defect, and that the vehicle wasn't in any violation of safety standards. The Tesla Model S is one of the first electric vehicles to receive five-star ratings in each of the NHTSA's round of crash tests, which Musk has continuously defended. Although no passengers have been harmed in these fires, the NHTSA still has to investigate the incidents as the metal shielding under the vehicle may not be able to prevent road debris from puncturing the battery packs.
The NTHSA currently doesn't have a test for the underside of a vehicle, and with the rise of electric vehicles, the agency may need to develop new tests to assess the strength of battery shields. Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies told Bloomberg that, "If I'm Tesla, the least of my fears is NHTSA. The bigger fears are Wall Street and consumers." Although Kane may worry over consumers, the owner of the first Model S to catch fire, Juris Shyibayama has posted his account of the incident on Tesla's website, and said, "I felt a firm thud as the hitch struck the bottom of the car, and it felt as though it even lifted the car up in the air." This has not dissuaded Shibayama from the brand, and he later went on to say that he would "buy another one in a heartbeat." Source: Bloomberg