The NHTSA has issued a formal, official request to Tesla Motors.
The request, which is directly related to the recent Tesla Model S fires, is legally enforceable. This means that Tesla will have no choice but to honor the NHTSA's request.
The NHTSA is seeking specific battery and under-body deformation information from Tesla Motors. Most of this information is not known to any individual outside of Tesla Motors. Additionally, the NHTSA seeks what amounts to almost everything Tesla has ever done in regards to the Model S' (memos, notes, design changes, conversations, engineering details and the list goes on and on and on...) battery pack, under-body area and so on.
The NHTSA will use this detailed information as part of its preliminary investigation into the Model S fire/safety.
Tesla Motors has until January 14, 2014 to fulfill the NHTSA's request.
The automaker has almost no out in this situation. It either submits all of the documentation or faces daily fines so stiff that it could be hit with up to $35 million in penalties.
The request, in its 9-page entirety, is found below: