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NHTSA finds no cause to investigate Tesla battery fires

Sorry, Tesla-haters. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declined to open a formal investigation into fire risks involving Tesla vehicles, after finding no relevant incidents in the United States in the last two years.

In 2019, a California lawyer filed a petition with NHTSA on behalf of a group of Tesla owners, requesting an investigation covering 255,000 Model S and Model X vehicles produced from 2012 to 2019. This followed reports of three Teslas that caught fire after charging at Supercharger sites in China.

In documents posted in the Federal Register, NHTSA said it had found no such incidents in the US since receiving the petition. “The available data indicate that non-crash battery fires in Tesla vehicles are rare events,” the agency wrote.

There are a couple of unrelated safety investigations working their way through the system. The New York Times reported that NHTSA has opened an investigation to determine whether Tesla’s Autopilot has a problem recognizing emergency vehicles parked alongside highways. The agency is examining 12 incidents in which Teslas have hit police cars, fire trucks or other emergency vehicles.

Last month, five police officers in Texas filed a lawsuit against Tesla over an incident in which a vehicle in Autopilot mode hit two police cars at a traffic stop.

Source: New York Times

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