• Nov 13, 2013
Emergency workers respond to a fire on a Tesla Model S ... Emergency workers respond to a fire on a Tesla Model S electric car in Smyrna, Tenn. (AP Photo/Tennessee Highway Patrol)
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the company "definitely" won't recall its Model S electric car despite three vehicle fires in the last six weeks.

"The headlines are extremely misleading. If fire risk is your concern, you would have a great deal of difficulty being in any better car than the Model S," Musk said.

There is one fire for every 1,300 gas-powered cars on U.S. roads, and for the Model S, that's closer to one in 8,000, Musk said during an interview Tuesday at The New York Times' DealBook conference. He underscored that none of the drivers in the three cases was injured.

"There's definitely not going to be a recall. There's no reason for a recall, I believe," he said.

Rumors of a possible recall sent Tesla shares down 5 percent Tuesday to close at $137.80. They rose 2 percent in after-hours trading after Musk spoke. The stock is down by nearly a third since the first fire was reported on Oct. 2. In that case, the car hit a large metal object on a state highway near Seattle. In the second case, in Mexico, a Model S burned after a high-speed crash. Last week, a Model S caught on fire near Smyrna, Tenn., after its driver struck a trailer hitch in the road.

Musk, who described himself as "somewhat of a perfectionist," said Tesla would recall the Model S immediately if it thought the car had a safety problem.

Ultimately, that decision might not be left to Tesla. The government could decide to recommend a recall of the Model S, and could take the company to court if it refuses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said late Tuesday that it's in contact with Tesla and authorities in Tennessee to decide whether it needs to take further action.



TRANSLOGIC 113: 2013 Tesla Model S


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  • 24 Comments
      bolten2
      • 1 Year Ago
      How do you say definitely no recall when you dont yet know the cause of the fires.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bolten2
        This guy has so many projects going on including rockets launching into outer space he would go completely broke.He is already spent almost all of the money he made from selling Pay Pal and some other things.I say when you become a Billionaire enjoy your life with the money instead of possibly losing it all.We only have one life enjoy it if your rich..
      dracura94
      • 1 Year Ago
      Electrical fires are caused by rapidly rising heat from what is best defined as a short. In this situation non-volatile chemicals which generate a flow of electrons from one to the other creating electricity either come together of find a path of resistance which creats heat leading to fire. Gasoline is highly volatile and burns in a vastly quicker reaction which is explosive. An electrical fire is a mere ember compared to a gasline fire. A gasoline tank is protected by anywhere from a 1/48 inch thick metal membrane; A Tesla battery box is protected by heavy steel plate. The media neglects responsibility because the phrase "Car has wreck and burns" does not sell as much as "Battery powered car erupts in flames. Consider this analogy: Story: "Explosion Decimates Children's Hospital - No Casualty Count Yet - Choking Dust Endangers Thousands with Respiratory Ailments. Cannon Used to Avert Disaster." Consider the real story: "Implosion of Vacant Hospital Building Stirs Up a Cloud of Dust Mitigated by Firefighters Water Cannon". Technique May Reduce Health Hazards. Volunteers To Interview Neighbors. Yellow Jouranlism is like political speeches and platforms. Without lies and misrepresentations the story is unsaleable.
      jreyn57871
      • 1 Year Ago
      Koch brothers propaganda. And the masses lap it up!
      Ron Wizard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Burn Baby Burn! Word of advice for liberals, don't use the name Tesla for an automobile. Its a bad omen. Just like Mr. Tesla's scientific facility and last efforts went up in flames, so is this car's next destination to the scrap-yard. To be burned/melted back into usable metals. Its funny how liberal investors in this Tesla company is getting what they deserve (nothing), after using tax payer dollars in a Crony Capitalism project.
        hdprent
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ron Wizard
        Mr Wizard you haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about. I'm a conservative and bought a Tesla. Finest car I've ever owned, yes as a salesman I've traveled in Mercedes, Porches, Cadillacs etc. etc. Also you should be informed that Tesla has already repaid the government loan. You might get your facts right.
      usci1
      • 1 Year Ago
      This vehicle is NOT what Nichola intended and invented in his electric powered car. (Just do the research on him and his inventions). Maybe from the other side, Mr. Tesla is influencing these 'impact events' to show his oposition to the technology being used in/with his name?
        dracura94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @usci1
        OOO I forgot. You need to read about Nicola's Issues with Colorado Springs and his playful electrical discharge experiments. He asked the right questions and whimsied about applications, but his genius was with electricity, not 21st century vehicles.
        dracura94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @usci1
        I agree wholeheartedly. The 787 Dreamliner is not What the Wright Brothers envisioned. HMMM.
      Leonard
      • 1 Year Ago
      an accident can cause a short which can start a fire, much safer than a gas powered car. Wouldnt it be nice if we didnt have accidents. If you get in an accident in a car powered by a battery, it should be checked as soon as possible, and maybe a safety feature would be a for a quick disconnect of all batteries when a sensor is triggered from an accident.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The TESLA is probably the SAFEST car on the road today and only an ignorant person would believe gasoline powered cars are superior. More people have been burned to death (or did not survive the impact) in gas cars in the past week compared to not one person being killed or even seriously injured in a Tesla since its inception! Maybe the NHTSC needs to recall all of those gasoline powered cars.
        • 1 Year Ago
        If you don't don't know how to present an argument don't enter one. What is the ratio of gas to electric vehicles on our roads, perhaps 100,000 to 1? Now tell me how safe the Tesla is. Did it occur to you that the heavy steel plate is around the battery for the very reason that it is dangerous for it not to be there? Gasoline is indeed flammable, but it can be extinguished by excluding the oxidizer, namely air. A battery, especially those of the nature used in the Tesla, (Lithium), are composed of both the oxidizer and the reducer, separated by only a thin plastic membrane. When shorted out by whatever means, they burn in stoichiometric proportions. That is, as hot as it can burn. This fire can not be put out by ordinary means. It is in essence an incendiary device, or bomb. It takes several millimeters of steel to hold the fire until (we hope), they can get the people out of it. In the mean time it will likely burn to the ground...
      jetwaydave
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gee, don't these cars cost about $100k ? And only have a range of about 200 miles ? These are truly for the liberal rich yuppies who just like to tool around town and look cool..
      Brian Workman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Install a massive steel plate under the battery, underneath the cars underframe!?
      Sekinu2
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well it is obvious there is a problem. The battery under carriage isnt protected enough which leads to these electrical crash fires.
        dracura94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sekinu2
        The steel plate under the Tesla battery pack is vastly stonger than a fuel tank. A strong air rifle can puncture a fuel tank. A standard Issue 5.56 Nato round would likely only dimple a Tesla battery guard.
      Ron Wizard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Exploding batteries that start car fires is not an anomaly. I've withness a couple of car fires started by exploding batteries.
      Ron Wizard
      • 1 Year Ago
      We have pictures and reports of burning Teslas. And liberals want to justify this by saying "batteries are safer than gasoline. Its like saying being in a coma for years is safer than death. Car batteries just like gasoline can make you a coma patient or a corpse. "RECALL" these "4 WHEELED COFFINS".
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