Tesla Model S Expected to be Cleared by NHTSA, Says Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk went on record late last week saying that he fully expects the NHTSA to clear the Model S after it completes its investigation of the 2 US fire-related incidents.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Musk stated:
"In both cases it was a large piece of metal essentially braced against the tarmac."
As Musk says, this occurrence of a metal object piercing the underbody of a vehicle could happen to any automobile on the road. Musk claims that the Model S battery pack may have actually prevented injury to the occupants of the vehicle s involved by blocking the object from intruding on the passenger compartment.
"I'm not saying it can't happen again. I'm saying in any kind of low-speed impact, you're fine."
"Any car, Model S or not Model S, the underside is going to get significantly damaged if you drive over a large metal object."
Musk says that his team of engineers are not working on a fix for the Model S, as there is not an issue with it.
Once again, Musk reiterates that nobody was hurt in these two incidents, which indicates there's not a safety-related problem.
The only other reason that the NHTSA could investigate is for economic losses suffered by the Model S owners due to defective materials. Musk defends this by saying that there are no economic losses as the result of these 2 fires since Tesla now covers fire loss under its extensive warranty.
According to USA Today:
"In the telephone interview, Musk also defended the battery placement in the Model S beneath the passenger compartment and about a half-foot above the road. That gives the car a low center of gravity and great handling, he said, while also protecting passengers from debris coming through the floorboards. The U.S. crashes occurred with so much force that, in a different car, the objects could have come through the floor and hurt people."
Source: USA Today