NHTSA will begin a federal safety investigation into the Tesla Model S after three fires occurred involving the vehicles.  The Tesla Model S is a full-sized electric five-door hatchback that runs on a lithium battery.  The first fire occurred in Kent, WA when the vehicle struck a metal object on a highway on October 1, 2013.  The next fire occurred in a high-speed crash in Mexico on October 18.  The third crash and subsequent fire occurred on November 6 in Smyrna, Tennessee.  The fire supposedly occurred after the Model S ran over a tow hitch in the roadway.  This accident prompted NHTSA to get involved and begin investigating the safety of the Tesla Model S.

Click here to read the full New York Times article: After 3 Fires, Safety Agency Opens Inquiry Into Tesla Model S

Investigators will examine whether the design of the Tesla’s lithium-ion battery pack is defective among the three fires that have occurred.  At issue is whether the size, shape and chemical makeup of the car’s battery.  Is the Tesla battery prone to fires when its lithium-ion cells are punctured in a collision?  NHTSA will put the Tesla through its vigorous testing to determine whether the Tesla Model S is a safe well-designed vehicle.

According to the New York Times, Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said the company welcomes the inquiry by NHTSA.  Musk’s sentiments at this time seem to be in stark contrast of those of Chrysler back in June of this year when NHTSA requested a recall of certain Chrysler vehicles due to defective fuel tank design and placement and Chrysler initially refused to comply with NHTSA.  Eventually, Chrysler did recall the vehicles.

Tesla Motors is based out of Palo Alto, California that designs, manufactures and sells electric cars.

Americans rely on their car manufacturers to provide a safe well-designed vehicle.  Sadly, that is not often the case.  The Auto Defect Attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm has successfully represented many people injured from defective Toyotas, Fords, Chryslers, Volkswagens, GM products and numerous other manufacturers and suppliers.  Often times, people involved in accidents do not examine the issues of defective vehicle design nor whether the car was truly crashworthy – does it contain the appropriate crash protection.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto crash, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.

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