NHTSA Rejects 2019 Petition To Examine Tesla Auto Fires
The NHTSA, apparently content on doing as little as possible while Teslas across the country catch fire and/or slam themselves into inanimate objects while on Autopilot, has rejected a 2019 petition to open a formal investigation into Tesla vehicle fires, a federal filing revealed on Monday.
The regulator had opened a formal review in October 2019 of a petition filed by the offices Edward C. Chen, “on behalf of Tesla owners over non-crash fire concerns including reports of three fires in China,” according to Reuters.
In 2019, the agency said it was reviewing whether or not Tesla should have recalled 2,000 of its cars instead of issuing a software update to address a defect that may have been causing or exacerbating battery fires.
The petition argued that Tesla was “using over-the-air software updates to mask and cover up a potentially widespread and dangerous issue with the batteries in their vehicles.”
In its denial of the petition, the NHTSA said: “Tesla’s investigation of the non-crash fires in China did not identify a root cause or positively link the incidents to any design or manufacturing defect conditions. The available data indicate that non-crash battery fires in Tesla vehicles are rare events.”
“No fires related to the subject condition have been observed globally since three fires in China and Hong Kong over a 48-day period from late-March to mid-May 2019,” the regulator added.
The NHTSA is still in the midst of a broad, formal investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot that covers more than 700,000 vehicles.
While that is likely a far more consequential outcome, we are not holding our breath for any type of profound decision. After the regulator’s inaction for the last decade, how could we?
Tue, 10/05/2021 – 13:18