Tesla Motors continues to insist that the Model S is an extremely safe vehicle, and is re-citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as evidence. Dogged by a handful of car fires during the past few months, Tesla says NHTSA is reaffirming the Model S's five-star safety rating for the 2014 model-year vehicles. Heck, Tesla's gone one step further, saying that the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) is also giving the EV a clean bill of safety health.

Tesla is no stranger to promoting safety, going as far as to say in August that NHTSA called the Model S the safest car it ever tested. That prompted NHTSA to quickly clarify that the Tesla received the agency's highest possible rating, as did a number of other cars.

Tesla is not standing still in regards the fires. The company recently added a software function that automatically cuts down the electric-charge current by about 25 percent when the car's power supply fluctuates too much. The company also said the most recent fire involving a Model S – in Orange County, CA - was caused by an overheated wall-charging system, and cited the Orange County Fire Authority to second that emotion. Check out Tesla's press release about safety ratings below.
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NHTSA REAFFIRMS MODEL S 5-STAR SAFETY RATING IN ALL CATEGORIES FOR MODEL YEAR 2014

MONDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2013 PALO ALTO, Calif. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reaffirmed the 5-star safety rating of the Tesla Model S overall and in all subcategories for Model Year 2014, confirming the highest safety rating in America.

While Tesla is awaiting feedback from NHTSA regarding their investigation of recent fire incidents, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), recently concluded its review of the incidents, finding no manufacturer-related defects or need for further action.

It is worth noting that a Tesla vehicle is over five times less likely to experience a fire than the average gasoline car and that there have been zero serious injuries or deaths for any reason ever, fire or otherwise, in a Model S. Over the course of more than 100 million miles driven in almost every possible terrain, weather and crash conditions, the Tesla Model S has consistently protected its driver and passengers, achieving the best safety track record of any car on the road.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 1 Month Ago
      So the FD did not actually assign blame to the charging system--all they could do was determine the location ( incident report here: http://insideevs.com/tesla-mode-s-garage-fire-official-incident-report/ ). The cause was a high resistance connection between plug and socket which could have been many things including a wiring problem, a faulty socket, or a partially inserted charging plug. The latest SW update cuts charging amperage by 25% when the electrical supply (not the car's power supply) fluctuates too much, indicating a possible issue with power supply feeding the HPWC or UMC.
      Grendal
      • 1 Month Ago
      "Tesla is no stranger to promoting safety, going as far as to say in August that NHTSA called the Model S the safest car it ever tested. That prompted NHTSA to quickly clarify that the Tesla received the agency's highest possible rating, as did a number of other cars." The fact that it actually did have the highest rating ever is beside the point. Typical government bureaucracy: "We gave you five stars and that is the only way we rate cars - you get five." That said, I'm glad they do what they do. They may be a bureaucracy, but they do help to keep us all safer on the road.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Grendal
        "The fact that it actually did have the highest rating ever is beside the point. " That is a false assumption. We do not know what scores other automakers received, because they honored the NHTSA's request not to publish them.
        Grendal
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Grendal
        A little late on this one Danny. This was news at the beginning of the week.
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Month Ago
      I have noticed that some folks really use flimsy sockets. To make it worse they let the universal tesla charger hang at the socket. this puts lots of stress at the in my oppinion badly designed us plugs. all the mechanical stress goes to the plug where the receptables hold the pins. you can pull it out partially and it still makes contact. even the german household 230v 16Amps socket is made that the whole socket carries the plug. now take the nema 14-50 plug. it only is held by the pins. now let the heavy universal charger hang from it and jack it up to the max. No wonder they go bad. take on the contrary a european 400 volt (IEC 60309) plug and socket. it is really beefy. the plug is "locked" into the socket. and really can support some weight. No offence but for me the nema socket is badly designed for todays use.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Month Ago
      It's good to see Tesla sensibly reinforcing the safety image of it products, in a responsible and serious manner. These minor incidents encountered by Tesla are to be expected with such a radically new product. In fact, it's a credit to Tesla and all EV manufacturer's, and owner's, there have been so few ! In time, with greater adoption and familiarity with EV technology, these incidents with no longer be considered newsworthy.
      Rotation
      • 1 Month Ago
      NHTSA did nothing except repeat their crash tests on a new model year. This has nothing to do with the fires investigation.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Month Ago
      If i had a plug-in car i would charge on the outside of the house and not inside a garage in case of malfonction.
        Richard Lam
        • 1 Month Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        In your scenario the car would be fine but the house would still burn down. The fire occured at the badly connected plug and wiring by the house, not the car.
        JP
        • 1 Month Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Or you could just make sure it's properly wired, like the rest of your circuits should be.
      • 1 Month Ago
      Oh no that car might catch on fire, its so unsafe. I'll get into my car with 5x the chance of catching on fire, thanks for the warning oil companies!
        • 1 Month Ago
        That's all I ever hear when I hear about the fire "issues." Its grasping at straws to fight potentially huge competition before it can really contend.
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