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Desirable NHTSA Investigation Outcome

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by Cattledog, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    It would be great if the NHTSA came out with a finding that said the most significant outcome of these two incidents is the car's ability to alert the driver to potentially dangerous situations and suggest action that would potentially save lives. Then demand a recall of all cars in the United States that do not have such a system and require it to be installed.
     
  2. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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  3. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I was thinking to this thread and IMO the NHTSA should make it compulsory a warning system similar to that of the Model S at least for all new electric cars having the battery pack placed on the bottom side of the car informing the driver in case the battery pack is damaged in order to get out of the car safely.
     
  4. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    I was assuming that a part of the Tennessee accident investigation would include an in depth search for the owner of the tow hitch, for obvious reasons. Yet news reports make it sound like the investigation is centered around the car and the battery alone. Not only do I hope that the owner of the hitch is found, but also some information about whether the hitch was mounted properly would be of interest.

    I would think that a thorough investigation in the a sincere interest of protecting the public would include a very close look at tow hitches, in general, along with an evaluation of the current rules associated with them. Maybe an enforcement program needs to be implemented like what they have in Europe. Maybe they need to beef up rules about secured and covered loads or ensure that all vehicles that are on the roadway are truly roadworthy. Enforcement of laws like those that pertain to secured and covered loads would benefit not just the Tesla consumer, but the entire population that is on the road every day.
     
  5. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I don't think that's in the NHTSA's purview. That's more of a state, not federal, thing. There will always be road debris, if not a trailer hitch, maybe a rock or traffic accident debris. All cars are vulnerable to this sort of thing so, to me, the real issue is how well a given car handles it. I believe the Model S has a vulnerability that can be mitigated. While the Model S is the safest car on the road, it should be made safer.
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    I wonder if Tesla has studied the temperatures in the cabin during a pack fire that destroys the frunk. There are reports that items in the cabin were unharmed in the latest fire. I suspect the alert is to get the car safely off the road - not sure how much danger the passengers are really in given the firewall technology. Obviously it would be better to exit the car, but I wo Andnder if that is really essential.
     
  7. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    How about a public withdrawal of the investigation and an apology to Tesla because an investigation was not warranted in the first place as well as changing the home screen of the NHSTA web site to display a huge advertisement for Tesla being the safest car in the world?

    I would accept nothing less.
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Expectation setting:
    This will never happen for anything the NHTSA ever does.
     
  9. mrdoubleb

    mrdoubleb Active Member

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    Well, what many seem to miss is that the NHTSA has opened a "preliminary evaluation to examine the potential risks". They might very well coclude, that there is no evidence of the battery packs producing an immediate, catastrophic fire even in such a remote scenario and the passive and active mechanisms already built in to warn the driver and channel flames to the front are adequate. They might conclude no further investigation is required.
     
  10. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    Does anyone have the press release regarding the "preliminary investigation" from the NHTSA? I went to this page at NHTSA and Safercar.org to get more information but I found nothing.

    But I did find this: Special Crash Investigations | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

    I found the following paragraph from the page interesting. It makes the investigation seem routine and all the hullabaloo by the press unwarranted.

     
  11. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I think that the "preliminary evaluation" finished last Friday and now full enquiries are being done. I maybe wrong of course. I wish I was wrong.
     
  12. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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    I didn't find an open investigation listed in the NHTSA/DOT database regarding Tesla.
     
  13. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    So we are still in the "preliminary evaluation" phase. Good. Maybe that this matter will be solved soon then without opening any further investigation. IMO, since the Model S is a very safe car, the "preliminary evaluation" phase should be closed letting Tesla free to make any further development without any committment.
     
  14. v12 to 12v

    v12 to 12v Active Member

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  15. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I may be wrong, but isn't the purpose of the NHTSA to investigate danger to occupants of vehicles?

    Suppose the Model S is found to have a higher propensity to catch fire in debris impact accidents. If NHTSA finds that the firewall protections keep the occupants safe in the cabin, is there any grounds for a recall? There aren't battery explosions, there's little danger of a projectile going through the battery pack, there's warning to the driver, and the firewalls keep the danger of fire penetration in the cabin low. Seems to me there's very little danger to the safety of the occupants, therefore there's little chance of a recall. EVEN if NHTSA finds risk for a battery fire on impact to be higher.

    I think this is why Elon doesn't expect a recall, right?

    Either way, I think the NHTSA is a little pissed at Tesla for the whole 5.4 stars stuff...hopefully they maintain their integrity and investigate with impartiality.
     
  16. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    The video posted recently of the NHTSA head at the LA Auto Show is positive - he praised Tesla for its cooperation in the investigation. Since the NHTSA has fire statistics (I think), I'd like to see them come out and say they find no evidence of risk that exceeds what is acceptable (they have accepted) in ICE cars. We'll see.
     
  17. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    + 1
     
  18. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Date Investigation Opened: NOV 15, 2013
    Date Investigation Closed: Open
    NHTSA Action Number: PE13037
    Component(s): ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

    All Products Associated with this Investigation orange-down.png


    Details orange-up.png

    1 Associated Document orange-down.png


    Manufacturer: Tesla Motors, Inc

    SUMMARY:
    The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is aware of two incidents occurring on US public highways in which the subject vehicles caught fire after an undercarriage strike with metallic roadway debris. The resulting impact damage to the propulsion battery tray (baseplate) initiated thermal runaway. In each incident, the vehicle's battery monitoring system provided escalating visible and audible warnings, allowing the driver to execute a controlled stop and exit the vehicle before the battery emitted smoke and fire.

    Based on these incidents, NHTSA is opening this preliminary evaluation to examine the potential risks associated with undercarriage strikes on model year 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles.


    - - - Updated - - -

    The language used in the NHTSA summary sounds pretty positive:

    "In each incident, the vehicle's battery monitoring system provided escalating visible and audible warnings, allowing the driver to execute a controlled stop and exit the vehicle before the battery emitted smoke and fire."
     
  19. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    "Based on these incidents, NHTSA is opening this preliminary evaluation to examine the potential risks associated with undercarriage strikes on model year 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles."

    How are they going to do this? Buy a few cars from Tesla and ram metallic objects through the pack to see what happens?

    Discuss it to death with lots of different opinions like we have been doing?

    Who has the remnants of the damaged vehicles? Examining those will give you lots of details about what happened and how. That is the only thing that makes sense to me.
     
  20. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Intentionally lighting the car on fire isn't going to be covered under the new warranty....stupid NHSTA lol
     

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