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NHTSA doesn't believe defect caused Tesla electric car fire

The Tesla Model S electric luxury sedan has garnered a great reputation as one of the safest vehicles on the roadways. However, fast forward to recent events and consumers in Nashville and nationwide are wondering how safe the Model S really is.

Reports indicate that in early October the battery pack of a Model S was damaged in Seattle when it ran over road debris that pierced the car's underside battery protection. A fire broke out and destroyed the vehicle. At that time, the NHTSA reported that they felt the fire was not the cause of an auto defect and announced that it would not move forward with a larger scale investigation.

Just over two weeks after the initial incident, a second Model S caught fire. This time it occurred in Mexico after the driver crashed his vehicle. In both cases, the drivers were able to flee the scene without serious injury.

The Mexico crash is not likely to change the NHTSA’s desire to investigate given that the federal agency only collects data regarding crashes that occur outside the United States, as opposed to inspecting the issue more in depth.

Consumers appear to be concerned, as indicated by a 16 percent decline in Tesla shares since the first crash took place. Following the initial fire, the CEO of Tesla claimed that electrical vehicles are far less likely to start on fire than their traditional gas counterparts. Sources did not indicate Tesla’s response to the newest incident.

Although it may be a fluke that two Model S vehicles caught on fire during the same month, it is important for Model S owners to proceed with awareness. As with any vehicle, if an individual believes that defective auto parts caused an accident or injury, they should contact a products liability attorney for assistance.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Tesla stock falls after another Model S fire caught on tape,” Dee-Ann Durbin, Oct. 28, 2013

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