Washington Times: Tesla’s “Friends in High Places” Ignore “Inherent Danger in Battery Power”


Model S Fire Won't be Formally Investigated by NHTSA

Model S Fire Won’t be Formally Investigated by NHTSA

In investigating the first Tesla Model S fire, the NHTSA concluded:

Tesla Model S Fire in Mexico

Tesla Model S Fire in Mexico

“After reviewing all available data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not found evidence at this time that would indicate the recent battery fire involving a Tesla Model S was the result of a vehicle safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards. The agency continually reviews incoming and prior consumer vehicle complaints, as well as other data to identify potential vehicle defect trends and takes appropriate action as necessary.”

The Washington Times is not accepting of this official NHTSA response.

In what was clearly an attack directed at electric vehicles in general and, more specifically, at Tesla Motors, the Washington Times wrote:

“Electric cars are hot, but not necessarily in a good way. One of them, the Tesla Model S, ran over a rock in the road in Seattle early this month and burst into flames. The administration’s friends, if not necessarily the Tesla Model S, can always count on a break. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and the golden boy of the green car industry, drew a pass. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to investigate the incident.”

“…The problem isn’t unique to the Tesla Model S. The electric Fisker Karma has burned down houses in Texas. After Hurricane Sandy, the remains of 16 new Karmas sitting on a dock in New Jersey exploded on exposure to water. General Motors refused to acknowledge the flammability problems of its electric offering, the Chevy Volt, with a recall. Instead, it offered a “customer satisfaction program” inviting Volt owners to take the car to a dealer to get a fix.”

“…Tesla has friends in high places who see that the company is treated with kid gloves and that the inherent danger in battery power is ignored. The administration has spent billions of dollars to create an electric car industry to make cars the American motorist doesn’t want. A few battery fires can’t get in the way of the green crusade to force Americans to trade their sedans for electric cars that cause only trouble.”

“…Electric cars make liberals feel good, and nothing shows off sensitive “concern” for the environment like a little car without a tailpipe. The harmful battery components, the product of a strip mine, and the emissions at the plant that creates the batteries are hidden from sight. We’ve tried electric cars, and steam cars and other fads, but there’s a reason why the internal combustion engine still rules the road. Short of a very long extension cord, none of the electrics are likely to threaten that rule.”

Is the Washington Times insinuating that Tesla Motors bought off the NHTSA?  It sure seems as though that’s what the Washington Times is implying, doesn’t it?

Get real…or, when it comes to electric vehicles, perhaps the Washington Times should get lost.

Respect for the Washington Times disappears in 3…2…1

Source: Washington Times

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32 Comments on "Washington Times: Tesla’s “Friends in High Places” Ignore “Inherent Danger in Battery Power”"

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* WashingtOIL Times
There, fixed.


Washington Times and New York Times have already lost my respect for honest journalism. They seem to be paid mouthpieces with a political agenda, just like BBC’s Top Gear’s fraudulent review.

If Tesla had friends in high places, they would not have to be fighting tooth and nail to sell made in America cars in America!

Can’t believe they said “Tesla makes car the American motorist doesn’t want”. Facts show just the reverse – a wait list indicating they can’t make enough cars for the American motorist. Reviews, fansites and even the TSLA stock indicate it’s a car that many Americans want but cannot afford.

Anyone with decent common sense can take a look at how the Tesla Model S battery is constructed to see the great pains taken to minimize battery fires, unlike the GM Volt’s battery. Should anyone be surprised why nobody is screaming that ICE cars strongly tend to burn up in a major crash?


“unlike the GM Volt’s battery”…

You mean the Volt’s battery is in the center of the car where Tesla’s battery is on the bottom.

In real world, Volt has been involved in many crashes and NOT a single fire event. Tesla has had two.

Volt’s battery fire only happened a long time after the crash test where the battery cooling system is shorted. How is that different from the battery intrusion in the Tesla accident?

Both designs are safe.

Tesla Fan

just ignore those lames

they deserve no attention with their false story


Wow, that looks like really shoddy journalism. The implication that NHTSA knew that there was a danger and declined to investigate is particularly noteworthy. That smacks of conspiracy theory thinking.

I’m not completely up on the Karma fires but I recall reading that one caught fire due to an electrical short caused by salt water corrosion which then spread to the other 15. They make it sound like they all burst into flames independently.

It amazes me that people are willing to ignore the fact than an ICE contains 10-15 gallons of highly flammable fluids (gas, oil, transmission fluid) and that that there are dozens of ICEcar fires every single day in the US.

scott moore

I’d be willing to bet that storing gasoline in people’s garages are the major cause of house fires. A car is actually a pretty safe place to store gas (unless you crash it of course).


No argument there but then with the Tesla, we are talking about crashes. The article implies that the battery is a bomb waiting to go off. By the way, age is another big factor in ICEcar fires – fuel systems tend to leak more as they age.

Ocean Railroader

The Karmas in Hurricane Sandy there where 300 of them sitting on a dock and the 10 foot storm surge submerged them along with houses and other things getting torn around in the storm over top of them. Even if they didn’t catch fire they would have been scrapped do to have 10 feet of water submerge them.


The Mooney Times. ‘nuf said.


C’mmon – no need to give more coverage to yellow rags like Washington times.


Seriously. It is a money-losing extremely-hard-right paper funded by the Moonies that is just filled with conspiracy theories and anti-science.


The Tea Party again but remember they are not a joke the fundamentalist Tea Party craziest won elections the last two years. I going to vote today in Virginia for the progress and technology. I wonder if Galileo felt the same back in history dealing with this kind of folks.


What’s their circulation—12 people maybe?


It is an unsigned Editorial, people. Nothing to read here. As for the ad-hominem attacks on the Times, unecessary.


Unsigned editorials are implicitly endorsed by a newspaper’s editors. When there’s no signiture, it is actually them putting forward the “journalism”.

Jesse Gurr

“One of them, the Tesla Model S, ran over a rock in the road in Seattle early this month and burst into flames.”

A rock? Makes it sound like it ran over something small. A more apt description would be “boulder”. But then it wasn’t any kind of rock at all. It was some curved piece of metal. That is shoddy fact finding/checking at its best.

Ocean Railroader

What is funny is we once knew someone had a Corvette burst into flames but how that happened was the guy tried to customize it and soup it up but it failed when the engine got screwed up and burst into flames one day destroying the car.


I love how the piece downplayed the Seattle incident as a “rock in the road”, instead of the leveraged, battery-stabbing piece of metal that it actually was… something we call know would have also caused serious damage to any ICE car or its occupants (perhaps instant death).

3ddi3 B

I’m actually pretty disappointed in today’s journalism, I’m actually shocked that 60 Minutes ran a great story on Guantanamo Bay, comparing to that shoddy journalism from the Benghazi story, I read the NYT all the time, and if it wasn’t cos I consider myself a well read person, I’m actually astonished at the poor reporting they do. And that’s the best newspaper in America!
This is the result of corporate oligarchs taken over, we will see this type of propaganda more and more. Sad for America.


That was pathetic. When you go too far over the line, you hurt your cause. How much more stupid can it get, before they loose the literate?



Anthony Fiti

Why do people think Musk has some sort of inside track in Washington? Does he? It doesn’t seem to me like he does, or at least he hasn’t used it to call in any favors that are visible to the public.

I heard similar conspiracy theory crap from Apollo XV Astronaut Al Worden – that Musk and SpaceX were getting NASA CRS launch contracts because Musk’s brother helped Rahm Emmanuel write Obamacare or some crazy-ass shit.


Well, he did schmooze politicians with free rides in a Model S on an indoor track, then got approved for a Fed Loan. So yeah, I believe he has some political sway.


Wow – that’s outrageous stuff from a supposed respectable publication. Oh I cannot wait for the day for all these idiots to eat a large portion of humble pie.


Last time I checked ICE cars burst into flames too. Something about the inherent danger of gas in the gas tank.

John Hollenberg

ICE vehicles are inherently safe from fire and getting safer by the year ;). Last year there were only 187,000 vehicle fires in the U.S.



Stupidity is a difficult thing to extinguish. If there was no name of the author, I might’ve thought “this” was some random YouTube comment or Forum rant.


The Washington Times is the biggest joke of a newspaper, no more reputable than the New York Post. How did you even find a story by the Wash Times? The Moonies prefer Rolls Royce’s I suppose.


The New York Post is MORE reputable.

Bill Howland

Unfortunate that what is a serious issue is treated so Sillily, apparently from writers not conversant with the current crop of EV’s.

The explosions (especially the one with the BRILLIANT flash of light and loud bang) make me wonder if this crash would have been survivable had there been strapped in children and/or the driver was unconscious. Also unknown is how many explosions ultimately were there ( i saw only 2 or 3 during this short video), and whether any projectiles (potentially fatal) were traversing the passenger cabin at the time.. Scary stuff.

The Times should be ashamed of this editorial. Safety of modern cars is paramount, and some EV’s have been proven by the test of time (think Leaf, or Volt). Stick with what you know for sure TIMES.


Clearly the Washington Times has an anti-EV agenda. Why? Can only assume they are funded, i.e. controlled by oil interests. Lots of money in oil. Lots to lose if EVs take off. Tesla was cute when it started, but as it becomes a serious contender, the gloves will come off and big oil interests and those they control will come out to rumble. This is only the beginning.


Big Oil has nothing to fear. My Volt runs on converted NG supplied by guess who?