It was bound to happen, though we'll say right away that the NHTSA is wasting its time and our precious dollars on this one.

The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, David Strickland, tells the Detroit News that the Agency is "gathering data" on the Tesla Model S fire.

NHTSA officials are apparently in contact with Tesla to find out what it can in regards to the Model S that was engulfed in flames after an object impaled the battery pack with 25 tons of force.

As of right now, it's not clear if the NHTA will open a formal investigation into the Model S fire.

Why the delay?  The government shutdown meant that the NHTSA was without funds and that it couldn't function.  With the government back in action, the NHTSA is now racing to catch up on a backlog of complaints and issues filed with it in the 16 days it was out of business.

For what it's worth, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says this:

"For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid.”

Source: Detroit News