The federal authorities’s prime auto-safety regulator has declined to open a proper investigation into the fireplace danger in Tesla automobiles with totally charged batteries after discovering no related incidents in america within the final two years.
The regulator, the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Safety Administration, obtained a petition in 2019 requesting an investigation following studies of fires in China that began after sure Tesla automobiles had been charged at one of many firm’s fast-charging stations.
In paperwork posted within the Federal Register, the agency mentioned it had discovered no such incidents in america since receiving the petition.
“The accessible information point out that noncrash battery fires in Tesla automobiles are uncommon occasions,” the agency wrote.
Electrical automobiles made by Tesla and different producers have been discovered to typically catch hearth if their battery packs have been broken in accidents. These high-voltage fires generate intense warmth and will be tough to put out.
Issues of safety have additionally arisen the place accidents are usually not concerned. Normal Motors just lately recalled all 141,000 Chevrolet Bolt electrical automobiles produced since 2017 as a result of the batteries had been vulnerable to overheating and catching hearth because of manufacturing defects.
The petition requesting an investigation into Teslas was filed by a California lawyer on behalf of a gaggle of Tesla homeowners. It got here after studies surfaced of three fires in China and sought an investigation overlaying 255,000 Mannequin S and Mannequin X automobiles produced from 2012 to 2019.
Tesla faces different safety considerations. The agency has opened an investigation of Tesla’s driver-assistance system, Autopilot, to decide whether or not it has a defect inflicting it to overlook emergency automobiles on highways. The agency is analyzing 12 incidents the place Teslas utilizing Autopilot have hit police automobiles, hearth vehicles or different first-responder automobiles.
Final month, 5 law enforcement officials in Texas filed a lawsuit towards Tesla stemming from an incident this yr by which a car in Autopilot mode crashed into two police cruisers at a visitors cease.