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NHTSA's Formal Documentation Request on Model S

Discussion in 'News' started by Incredulocious, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Incredulocious

    Incredulocious '11 LEAF –> '13 RAV4 EV

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  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Via his approach, Elon basically asked for this kind of treatment. I hope they get a sufficient volume of nicely indexed documentation ready well before the deadline so that there is sufficient time to immediately address "Tesla neglected to include ___" responses. Those will certainly come, and it's better to have a clear track record of responding quickly and appropriately to any such demands by official agencies (especially ones that you've apparently annoyed at least a couple times).

    To be clear, I'm not critiquing Elon and Tesla's moves here. I'm just saying they've rubbed a few people over in NHTSA the wrong way and hopefully they'll try to remedy that moving forward.
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Our tax dollars at work, "protecting" it's citizens.:cursing:

    With C*** like this it's no wonder that there have been no new vehicles manufacturers to challenge the exising.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    While huge, I'm assuming that's all standard stuff, e. g. practically a form letter.
     
  5. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    It looks like standard bureaucratic legalese that forces Tesla to give them everything they have on their battery pack. Tesla already said they would cooperate fully however a bureaucracy will act like a bureaucracy no matter what. Tesla should give them everything they've got. The result being that we will hear an answer just before the Model E comes out.
     
  6. Jhall118

    Jhall118 Member

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    It's completely ridiculous for Tesla to be expected to email all their proprietary information to a government agency that couldn't even keep the email request off the internet for a single day in the first place. What a joke.

    The funny thing is, the idiot put his email for all of us to see. I will be sending an email to [email protected] and encouraging my friends to do the same.

    Or maybe a phone call would be better. Haha.
     
  7. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    What this whole request says to me is that the NHTSA saga is going to go on without resolution well into 2014. Germany news may boost the stock today, but NHTSA is "throwing the book" at Tesla. I can only assume there are behind-the-scenes politics driving this. I also assume that there will be at least one more car fire before NHTSA issues its final report.
     
  8. dm33

    dm33 Member

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    Wanted to get other's impressions on the NHTSA request. Its interesting to read. My impression as well is that it seems to have a nasty edge. Like they're not happy with Tesla and have at least a small axe to grind. It might be politics that determines it in the end. Hard to predict who would win that game without knowing more about the people and motivations behind them and even our political establishment.

    Odds are there will not be another fire before the final report. Thats why Elon forcibly raised the car so that another one wouldn't occur while they're being investigated.
     
  9. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Anger at the NHTSA is misplaced... they effectively mandated seat belts, air bags and crumple zones saving thousands of lives. Gotta take the good with the bad. Plus, a clean bill of health from an agency that has been given good reason to dislike Tesla will all the more satisfying :cool:
     
  10. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Agreed. I'm sure that this is just a standard request with "Tesla" penciled in where a blank manufacturer space would be. Being a legal document it has to include the repercussions when it is ignored.
     
  11. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    For all those incensed at this: you do realize Elon ASKED that the NHTSA do this, right? He wanted a FULL investigation.

    (and yes I understand there was some disagreement as to if the NHTSA recv'd the request in a timely fashion before they responded, but the situation remains the same: Elon wants this).
     
  12. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    Heresy alert.... ok you've been alerted. :)

    If I had to place a bet on the outcome of the NHTSA inquiry, it will be a recall, in the form of either:

    a) NHTSA orders Tesla to strengthen the battery pack; or,
    b) Behind the scenes, Tesla cuts a deal with NHTSA in which Tesla announces it is voluntarily strengthening the battery pack.

    Either way, all Model S's sold to date get recall for this battery pack strengthening and the stock plummets on the news. Cost to Tesla for the recall: $100 million or more.

    I will be delighted if NHTSA gives Tesla a clean bill of health, but I am expecting a or b above, and a corresponding bloodbath in the stock market for TSLA shares.

    And again I don't think we'll know for sure until Feb at the earliest.

    I hope I'm completely wrong.
     
  13. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I think this is exactly what Elon and TM wants as it will show beyond a shadow of an engineering doubt that Model S is every bit the car Elon believes it is.
     
  14. JST

    JST Active Member

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    I don't think there's any way to know what the NHTSA inquiry will reveal or how it will conclude. Beyond a temptation to assume that government enforcement agencies will take enforcement action once they are roused from their slumber, though, I don't think that there's any reason to conclude that a recall is inevitable (or even likely).

    As for timing, nothing is likely to happen by Feb. The documents aren't even going to be provided until mid January.

    See the following from NHTSA's website.

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM446542/INVMTY-102013-1234.pdf

    PRELIMINARY EVALUATION (PE)
    Initial phase of a NHTSA investigation, a PE is prompted after a review of consumer complaints and/or manufacturer service bulletins suggest a safety defect may exist. The results of a PE determine
    whether the investigation will be upgraded to an Engineering Analysis or closed. Most PEs are resolved within four months.
    ENGINEERING ANALYSIS (EA)
    Second and final phase of a NHTSA investigation, an EA is undertaken if data from a PE indicate further examination of a potential safety defect is warranted. The results of an EA determine whether a
    safety recall should be initiated or the investigation should be closed. Most EAs are resolved within one year.


    Emphasis added. This is a PE (see the reference number in the letter linked above), so it's possible that within a few months they'll close the books and find nothing. They may upgrade it to an EA, though even then a recall is not necessarily the result.
     
  15. Jhall118

    Jhall118 Member

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    If I had a choice between a car with a seat belt and buying a car without one, I wouldn't need a government mandate to pick the one with seat belts. I hope they don't fall over patting themselves on the back for that one. Regardless, even if they are the shining beacon of all that is safety, I will still criticize them for making a huge deal over something that is trivial compared to deaths in ICE cars. I don't have to take the good with the bad; I would rather just take the good, and try to stop the bad.

    Luckily the guy gave his phone number so I can fully express my opinion to him in person.
     
  16. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    where is the NHSTA letter to Porsche asking them for the same information? I mean...people actually DIED in that accident (paul walker). but nobody has even been injured in any tesla accident let alone died...sooo a little unfair I think?
     
  17. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    The request of all this information says to me that the NHTSA hasn't a clue what it's looking at, how it's built, or why it was able to sustain such fierce impacts, politely tell the driver to pull over before it shut itself down, and then do a rather 'controlled' burn of its damaged parts without ever compromising the passenger cabin. I'll stop there because it's against forum policy to say the rest that is on my mind.
     
  18. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    I agree, the NHTSA needs to concern themselves with cars that have caused serious injuries and fatalties to the occupants. It's sad to say, but there has to be a severity vs occurance.

    i.e. 2 fires that cause property damage over a recognized rare occurance that involves human interaction and no injuries are not as huge as a defect that causes a steering line rupture and kills people or fires that occur with no human interaction (car just sitting parked). Those are much bigger deals.


    Fire after hitting something large= OK, you are awake and can act appropriately
    Steering failure when driving= you are screwed, and have to be lucky to walk out OK
    Random fire when car is parked = lighting your house on fire since it can occur at a random time when you are not prepared

    If I was Tesla and they forced a recall, I would also make other OEMs recall their cars to strengthen their undercarriages (and cite specific cases such as the Chazz Campbell and the youtube video), while the risk is not fire, a large metal object going through your achilles or femural artery could be much more severe.
     
  19. JST

    JST Active Member

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    Not exactly what you're asking for, but here's a letter to Porsche opening a PE into coolant loss. Essentially the same type of info as is being requested from Tesla, though I would say that the questions here are even more detailed and specific:

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM438484/INIM-PE13009-56309.pdf


    And for everyone getting upset about the Tesla request "leaking," as you can see these letters are publicly available.

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchDetails.action
     
  20. dm33

    dm33 Member

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    Thats my question. Would it really hurt the stock? I tend to think its the uncertainty that hurts the stock. And the fear that they will come out with something so onerous that affects the heart of the car, that Tesla can't recover from, that has hurt the stock. If NHTSA concludes with something definitive thats relatively simple with some easily identifiable cost, such as $100mil, then I think the stock would do ok with relief. A known hit to the bottom line, can move on. Can then claim a clean bill of health.
     

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