Sales of the Tesla Model S haven't been very good in Germany, but a thumbs-up safety rating by the German government might help. The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA, known as the German Federal Motor Transport Authority in English) did not find any defects in the Model S and says that no further safety investigations are necessary.

Tesla Motors just sent out a letter from the KBA (in English and German, see below) stating that no manufacturer-related defects could be found. The letter said, "Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary."

The inquiry came from concern over Model S post-crash fire incidents in Seattle, Tennessee and Mexico. The KBA has the power to initiate and perform investigations in Germany, and can order recalls. The German safety agency reviewed Tesla's responses to their inquiries on each of the incidents, and other information. The luxury plug-in sedan is getting solid performance ratings in Germany and, by the end of 2014, Tesla plans to have more Superchargers, per capita, than in any other country. The car is even available with a Germany-specific Autobahn performance package.

In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still investigating the three battery fire incidents. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and NHTSA head David Strickland have disagreed over whether Tesla or the US safety agency initiated the investigation, and the outcome is still in question.
German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) Concludes Review of Model S Incidents

MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Tesla received a recent inquiry from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), regarding the Model S post-crash fire incidents in Seattle, Tennessee and Mexico. The KBA is the German authority in charge of motor vehicle regulation. They have the power to initiate and perform investigations, and compel recalls. In response, Tesla provided the KBA with data and additional information regarding each of these incidents.

In investigating these incidents, the KBA reviewed Tesla's responses to their inquiries, as well as other information. They subsequently issued the following statement:

According to the documents, no manufacturer-related defects [herstellerseitiger Mangel] could be found. Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary.

The letter from the KBA is attached in German and English.

ABOUT TESLA

Tesla's goal is to accelerate the world's transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs, as well as EV powertrain components for industry partners.


Translation: Letter KBA dated 27 November 2013

GSK STOCKMANN + KOLLEGEN
Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater
Herrn Dr. Marcel Vietor
Karl-Scharnagl-Ring 8
80539 München

Investigation under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)], Tesla Model S vehicle fires

Dear Dr. Vietor,

Referring to our phone call dated 27 November 2013, I am pleased to share with you the investigation's result with regard to the 3 recent fire incidents involving Tesla Model S cars.

According to the documents, no manufacturer-related defects [herstellerseitiger Mangel] could be found.

Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary.

The process is completed with the Federal Motor Transport Authority [Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA)].


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  • 25 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
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      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Excellent news. That should boost European sales, and reassure Tesla stockholders.
      taser it
      • 1 Year Ago
      The German Agency, headed by Mister Schultz, was asked to comment and said, "I see nothingk!"
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      NHTSA will probably follow suit on this. They might find something at fault just so they can make themselves look good. Fundamentally, there have been no serious injuries and no fatalities in a Model S even in terrible accidents. The second fire in Mexico is actually worse than the accident that killed Paul Walker in a Porsche. That car was going over 100 MPH went through a wall and struck a tree before catching on fire. The result is that the driver and the passengers all walked away safely. There have been other very high speed accidents as well. All have walked away safely. That says the car is very safe. The GFMTA is correct and accidents happen and fire can be a result of an accident
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        Just because I am curious - have they release the flight recorder data from that accident? I would love to see it. Sounds like he should be thanking Tesla.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        It might be too soon to make comparisons to the severity of the Paul Walker accident, considering how little we know about what happened there.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I call BS on that. A CGT could easily take a 15 MPH turn at 45 MPH. Even if it couldn't, it can stop in less than 30 feet from that speed. There were pieces littered all over, like the car busted from a high energy impact. If they say he was going 45, they are covering it up. Lets see the data.
          Naturenut99
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The police were able to determine that they were doing 45 in a 45mph zone but didn't slow done enough into a turn/15mph zone. Which is drastically less than people were saying they were doing 80 in a 30 mph zone. Mind boggling to think that it was that extreme because of not slowing down enough from 45 into a 15.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I'd like to see Naturenut99's source. "The car struck a [concrete] light pole, two trees and a sign noting the street's 45 mph speed limit, but Los Angeles County Sheriff's detective Jeff Maag tells PEOPLE the driver "was doing well over 45 – [it's] fair to say at least twice that." Maag says it will take days or even weeks to complete the investigation and conclude exactly how fast the car was going and whether any mechanical problems contributed to the crash." http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20762380,00.html
        Thereminator
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        When we were building custom homes we would leave a somewhat obvious code violation so that the inspector would find it and justify his exsistance.
      Electron
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great. Now it's time for KBA to investigate all the other cars that don't have the sort of underside protection Tesla has. What happened to Model S suggests there is a fair chance for cars to get their underside pierced in the footwell area. With Tesla that means the end of the battery and possibly the car eventually, with other cars it could spell the end of people's limbs or life even. Definitely something for KBA to look into.
        BipDBo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Electron
        Have you ever heard of person who drove over a trailer hitch and had his foot ripped off?
          Mark Schaffer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          Asking anecdotally whether "Electron" has "...heard..." of injury from trailer hitches is a really stupid way of looking at this. Why don't you go and research the kinds of accidents and find out this information? Given the incidence of road debris across the nation and the millions of cars running over such debris care to wager on finding people seriously injured by that debris???
          Electron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BipDBo
          @ Mark Schaffer: Actually BipDBo's incredulous response is probably fairly typical for what one would get from suggesting road debris should cause vehicle occupants to get wounded, maimed or even killed on a regular basis. It's not something most people have ever heard of I imagine yet a relative handful of Model S cars managed to get their batteries penetrated right under the footwell section of the cabins twice in a short time, despite the benefit of far more protection than regular cars. Extrapolating from that injuries should be a regular occurrence in the general car population, yet so far it appears to be a completely unnoticed problem. Makes one wonder whether Model S was just extremely unlucky or something else is going on entirely.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      These agencies don't measure determine whether tragedy can happen, or if there is anyway the automaker could have designed it differently to make it less likely. They look for defects in design or manufacturing. They make sure that the design is "safe enough." You can die driving any vehicle. With enough Teslas on the road, it is inevitable that eventually someone will crash and die. Getting a pass from the KBA or the NHSTA does not mean that the car is perfect or that it cannot be improved to be safer. The Porsche that Paul Walker was in was blessed by those agencies, yet it burst into flames. The fact that these fires can happen, does not mean that it is an unsafe car. To the contrary, it looks to be much safer than average.
      CoolWaters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ut-o, I predict Fox News goes to War with Germany in 3, 2, 1...
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @CoolWaters
        Fox news is knee jerk against EVs because they consider them green. Thus they are connected to Obama whether it makes sense or not. It does not make sense but that is what happens. Bob Lutz put the record straight about a year ago but over time they have quietly fallen back onto that EV = green = Obama mental equation.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Fox will do just fine without Obama. They had Bush for eight years without killing their ratings. There are always polarizing and hot button issues to rally behind and dazzle your viewers with. That is true for most other 24 hour news channels as well. There is always news happening somewhere in the world or they will manage to find something that isn't news and make it into news just to keep us all entertained.
          danfred411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Ezee, defending fox news makes you an idiot. And not understanding that people exaggerate what fox news will say makes you an idiot. fox news have said that plugin cars will cause divorces. that alone means you never ever ever defend fox news. you got that? fox news also promoted the war in Iraq and idiots who watch fox news think Iraq had something to do with 9/11. there is a reason fox news is mocked by intelligent people (and some idiots like marco). that you like fox news just means you are an idiot Ezee, it doesn't make them wrong. you have right wing nitwit baggage. that's just the way it is. you disappoint me.
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @dan - I differentiate between the 'news' and the 'commentary' as I did in my post. I have made all sorts of fun of Neil Cavuto's comment on divorce. It's stupid. I am also not defending them. I don't have cable, so I do not watch them (I cannot). However, I hear these wild claims where people say, 'fox news goes to war with Germany' which us so dumb I cannot imagine who would....never mind... And then I get curious...'what did they actually say?' So I look. And it is never what people accuse them of saying. Never a single time. I could easily do the same thing. I could say, 'I bet at msnbc the are having surprised butt sex with under aged girls while practicing pagan rituals, because that is obviously what liberals do.' But I don't, because I don't think they do. But then with them, they make PGA, apartment, kitchen cabinet into racist hate speech, so all I have to do is repeat their nonsense. And Marco...if you are not trying to get on their good side, then why only Fox? Bill O'Reilly has his own show, and it is separate from the news. Sean Hannity has a separate show... When I report on what they have, I never lie. I am reporting the news stories. During the last election, msnbc didn't have a single positive story on Romney out of hundreds shown. No protest? Yes...maybe they will like you if you simply bend a little...just a little less freedom...a little liberty in exchange for security, right? From the left wing Washington post, today: The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable. Yep...keep agreeing....maybe they will like you.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @ EZEE2 It's true, I rarely watch Fox news. My criticism was directed at the Fox " tabloid " style format, where commentary and news coverage becomes blurred. I'm not a fan of sensationalist, doctrinaire propaganda, passed off as news. It doesn't matter what shade of politics the media organisation favours, the news segment should be confined to an impartial, balanced, accurate presentation of fact, not opinion. I have no issue ''commentators" , writing opinion pieces, no matter how partisan. But IMO, commentary should be contained within clearly defined "opinion" programs. One thing you can be sure of, I (and I'm sure I speak for Grendal also ) have absolutely no interest in getting in anyone's " good graces" be it left, or right !
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal, That's true, Fox is nothing new, it just follows in the tradition of all tabloid press (once called yellow journalism). The formulae is simple, find a narrow minded, insecure demographic, and play to their prejudices and insecurities. The truth, or even facts don't matter as long the narrative is kept simple and populist. By reducing complex issues to a few distorted concepts, or better yet a conspiracy theory, the target audience can be led to feel clever and superior . All the while, sensationalizing the most salacious details. Looking back on some of the late 19th century, and early twentieth century press, Fox looks mild in comparison !
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal I wonder what Fox will do without Obama ? Unfortunately, the Republicans don't appear to have any likelihood of selecting a viable candidate in the next Presidential election, so I suppose it'll be business as usual with the next President. What would be interesting would be to see the response by Fox to a pro-EV Republican President. ( Or, as often happens, if Rupert suddenly switches support to a Democratic candidate. )
          EZEE2
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendel and Marco - I am disappointed in you both. Obviously Cool is a mindless ideologue, so his hate is expected. But did either of you two check Fox News to see what they were reporting? Or did you just think, "well, everybody knows...." And not check? Every single time people are hysterical, I check Fox News to see what they actually write. And every single time I post it here, and any headlines related to the story, or even subject. In not one single case have any of the hysterical predictions of what fox would say have come true. In this case, it isn't even on their website. In regard to Germany, there was a story predicting great sales of tesla. That's it. I don't know if you two feel you will get in the good graces of the left if you adopt their hysteria and hate, but why not check? And before you say Neil Cavuto or Bill O'Reilly - let me break the sad news to you. Those are commentators. Should I hold NBC responsible because their commentators say using the terms PGA, apartment, kitchen cabinet, means you are a racist? Or opposing Obama in any way at all? For your reference, below, I copied and pasted the evil article from Fox News: FRANKFURT – Electric car maker Tesla Motors is aiming to sell around 10,000 cars a year in Germany by 2015 as it builds out its networks of charging stations, its chief executive told a German paper. "I have confidence in the German consumer," Tesla Chief executive Elon Musk was quoted as saying in an interview with Welt am Sonntag. "Our fast charging stations should cover around half of Germany by the end of March 2014 and the entire country by the end of 2014," he said, adding he expected there to be 25 Tesla dealerships in Germany by the end of next year. Tesla's high performance, all-electric Model S went on sale in Europe in August, and even overtook Volkswagen's Golf as the bestselling car in Norway in September. Even vehicle sales of 10,000 would be only a small fraction of the German car market. Main industry association VDA expects sales to reach between 2.9-3.0 million cars this year from 3.08 million in 2012, and keep hovering at around 3 million vehicles in coming years. The Model S costs from 71,400 euros ($98,500) in Germany, according to the group's website. Tesla is currently working on developing a third-generation electric car by 2017 that will cost between $30,000 and $35,000. (Me again). Yes....pure evil, isn't it! You can hear the venom. You two disappoint me.
          GoodCheer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Please stop trying to help, Dan.
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