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Vehicle and Battery Fires

When people think of vehicle safety issues, one of the worst incidents that can come to mind is a deadly fire. The Center has long been involved in vehicle fire issues, from the infamous Ford Pinto to the current electric vehicle fire issues. Although technology in automotives has greatly advanced in the early twenty-first century, unfortunately vehicle fires (whether caused by poor gas tank placement or an improperly manufactured lithium ion battery) are a dangerous and persistent problem. Within the past few years, the Center has advocated for Kia and Hyundai to recall many of their vehicles equipped with engines that cause non-crash fires, and to expand the recalls that have already occurred. The Center has also raised awareness around new types of fire risk raised by electric vehicles.

Latest News

Tesla fires can't be ignored, no matter what Tesla's CEO claims – 11/20/2013

By James R. Hood

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced earlier this week that it was opening a preliminary evaluation into battery fires in the $90,000 battery-powered Tesla S luxury car, It got a yawn from experienced safety advocates and reporters who routinely cover the NHTSA beat. It is, after all, what safety agencies do — investigate safety issues.

Tesla fires can’t be ignored, no matter what Tesla’s CEO claims – 11/20/2013

By James R. Hood

When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced earlier this week that it was opening a preliminary evaluation into battery fires in the $90,000 battery-powered Tesla S luxury car, It got a yawn from experienced safety advocates and reporters who routinely cover the NHTSA beat. It is, after all, what safety agencies do — investigate safety issues.

Feds investigate Tesla fires: Elon Musk's idea? NHTSA disputes that – 11/19/13

By Jerry Hirsch
Federal safety regulators opened a probe into a series of fires in Tesla Motors Inc. electric cars following crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that it would investigate why two of the expensive Tesla Model S sporty hatchbacks have caught fire this year following accidents in which the battery casing that serves as the undercarriage of the car cracked open.

A third fire, which took place in Mexico, won’t be part of the investigation because it is outside the agency’s jurisdiction.

Feds investigate Tesla fires: Elon Musk’s idea? NHTSA disputes that – 11/19/13

By Jerry Hirsch
Federal safety regulators opened a probe into a series of fires in Tesla Motors Inc. electric cars following crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday that it would investigate why two of the expensive Tesla Model S sporty hatchbacks have caught fire this year following accidents in which the battery casing that serves as the undercarriage of the car cracked open.

A third fire, which took place in Mexico, won’t be part of the investigation because it is outside the agency’s jurisdiction.

After 3 Fires, Safety Agency Opens Inquiry Into Tesla Model S – 11/19/13

by Bill Vlasic and Jaclyn Trop

DETROIT — A federal safety investigation of the Tesla Motors electric Model S sedan announced on Tuesday comes at a critical juncture for the car and the company.

For the first time, regulators are examining whether the design of the high-end vehicle and its advanced lithium-ion battery pack are defective and the cause of two battery fires.

Elon Musk charged up as feds probe Tesla fires – 11/20/13

As federal investigators announced a formal safety probe Tuesday, fledgling electric car maker Tesla Motors is getting a quick lesson in what it’s like to be treated like a big, mainstream automaker.