The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) has asked for various details, including consumer
grievances and property damage claims, from
Tesla Motors, Inc.
) in relation to the ongoing Model S investigation for safety
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The automaker has also been asked to submit details regarding any
design alteration and engineering drawings of Model S to the U.S.
auto regulator. Tesla is supposed to provide all the information
by Jan 2014.
NHTSA started the investigation after three Model S vehicles
caught fire in a span of five weeks. In early October, a Model S
electric vehicle caught fire near Seattle, U.S., after the
vehicle collided with a "large metallic object" which damaged the
front end of the car. This incident was soon followed by another
Model S vehicle catching fire in Merida, Mexico. The fire broke
out after the vehicle crashed through a concrete wall and hit a
The third fire incident was reported on Nov 7. The incident
occurred near Smyrna, Tenn., after the vehicle hit road debris.
The collision led to fire in the front portion of the vehicle.
As a result of these fire incidents, NHTSA demanded details
regarding the after effect of the damage of battery pack of Model
S and the method adopted by Tesla to solve those problems.
Recently, German Federal Motor Transport Authority or
Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) revealed that it did not find any
manufacturing defect in Tesla's Model S. The authority's
statement came after it examined and reviewed the vehicle
following the recent fires. The German authority issued a letter
stating that Tesla does not need to take any action under the
German Product Safety Act.
Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt plays a similar role in Germany like the
NHTSA in the U.S. It has the power to ask for recalls in case of
any defect detected in a vehicle.
Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles and electric
vehicle powertrain components for partners including
Toyota Motor Corp.
). The company currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked automobile stocks include
Ford Motor Co.
). Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).