“There’s definitely not going to be a recall. There’s no reason for a recall,” said Elon Musk in a recent CNBC interview. “If you read the headlines, it sounds like Teslas have a greater propensity to catch fires than other cars. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.”
The spate of press coverage unleashed by the recent run of Model S fires has been pretty predictable, even if as Musk said, much has been “extremely misleading.” The mainstream media has been full of dire predictions for the company, the electron-haters are speculating about some sort of government cover-up, and pro-EV pundits keep reiterating the fact that hundreds of thousands of gas-powered vehicles catch fire every year.
Musk also cited some statistics. There’s been one fire for every 8,000 Model S on the road, whereas the average for all vehicles is something like one fire for every 1,300 vehicles. The way he figures it, that makes Model S five times less likely to catch fire than a legacy vehicle. “We have never had a serious injury or death in any of our cars. Maybe there is a car as safe as the Model S, but there is certainly not a car that is safer.”
Speaking at the Dealbook conference in New York this week, Musk said that the owners of all three toasted Teslas have had nothing but praise for the cars, and all have requested replacements as soon as possible. The Mexican Model S driver who crashed so spectacularly said he owes his life to the car – he was able to walk away (actually, he ran away, according to the local news report) after sailing through the air and smashing into a tree.