Tesla Model S is still one of the country’s safest vehicles, as confirmed both by NHTSA crash testing and an investigation following three car fires that originated in the lithium-ion battery pack.
After three fires in just about as many weeks, as well as a recent garage fire, all involving the expensive performance electric vehicle Tesla Model S, understandably, the question of safety comes to the fore. The NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) crash testing gave the car a Five-Star Safety Rating, one of the best in the United States, which seemed to be in doubt after the fires.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has always affirmed that the Tesla Model S is safer than practically any other vehicle on the road, citing the mind-boggling number of car fires that occur every year. If you do the math, your conventional vehicle is ten times more likely to catch fire than a Tesla Model S. I’m sure that statistic actually crosses over all electric vehicles. Still the NHTSA ordered an investigation of the fires, pretty much at the same time that Tesla Motors sent out, over the airwaves, a ride-height adjustment for the Tesla Model S air suspension, to prevent damage to the underbelly of the vehicle.
Was the ride height an admission of a problem? No, although it probably might help with the debris problem that we seem to have on the Nation’s highways. Besides, according to a recent Press Release, the NHTSA has confirmed the Tesla Model S‘ Five-Star Safety Rating. The fire is still under investigation, but I can’t imagine NHTSA is going to find anything.
SeekingAlpha Contributor Quoth the Raven may have put it best…
It doesn’t take a doctorate student in physics to understand that when you take any piece of electronic technology – gas powered or electric, 18 wheeler or golf cart – and slam it through a concrete wall and several trees at high speeds, it shouldn’t be a surprise if it catches fire. Then, after the initial fire, it shouldn’t be a surprise if other flammable parts go up in flames. That’s just the way of the mechanical engineering world – cars catch fire all over the world, all day, everyday. As SA user juicejack put it in the comments to the fire story: If Ford stock went down every time a Pinto exploded, it would be worth about 22 cents.