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Question and opinions about NHTSA investigation

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by TSLA_Hopeful, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. TSLA_Hopeful

    TSLA_Hopeful Member

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    Quick introduction: my name is Luke and I live in Chicago. Long-time TMC lurker/admirer, first time poster, and a TSLA long. I wanted to get everyone’s opinion in anticipation of the NHTSA announcement. It seems the vast majority of TMC posters anticipate a full clearance by the NHTSA. To be clear, I absolutely believe the MS is safer than any car out there and it’s an absolute joke there is a question mark on its safety. But I worry that the NHTSA will issue at least a partial recall for non-safety reasons. I wanted to share my reasoning, and get your guys’ feedback.

    1) Corruption and influence on Washington- It seems that Washington, and the auto-regulators in particular, are a revolving door of conflicting interests. The easiest way to stop Tesla for the auto lobby is to use unjust influence to lobby for a recall. That, and the fact that EVs are a new technology, makes me think the NHTSA could easily be influenced. Does anybody have experience working in a regulatory environment? If so, can you tell us if Tesla will truly get a fair evaluation on the merits of its safety by looking at the statistics and engineering credentials vs. all the f*** hype and politics?
    2) Elon making regulators mad- We all remember the “recall” term fiasco last month. It doesn’t seem that Elon and the NHTSA are on the best of terms. And David Friedman, the new NHTSA head, spent lots of his life on fuel cells that Elon called BS. I just worry of a situation like in elementary school where a bad teacher unduly singles out a student he or she doesn’t like.

    Those are my two main concerns. Not saying I necessarily believe a recall is >10% likely, as it’s been cleared in every other major country, but why don’t these factors worry you guys? It just seems to me that the NHTSA can be so easily swayed, and to cover their own butts, may think “let’s just have Tesla strengthen the battery pack and that way we won’t be blamed for not doing anything ” The NHTSA can’t even approve camera mirrors on cars, what makes everyone think they will give Tesla a truly fair evaluation? Sorry for the long post, would appreciate your opinions to help alleviate me of this worry J!
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The NHTSA has to justify their findings and show that the Model S is more likely to catch fire and cause severe injury than other vehicles. Also a fair number of Tesla owners have influence and deep pockets.
     
  3. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    I think every day that goes by without another fire makes it harder for them to justify anything like a recall. I think this also means each day NHTSA clearance is priced in a little more, and makes their verdict less relevant.
     
  4. austinEV

    austinEV Active Member

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    I don't believe in "efficient market theory" that much. I think there will be a pop on NHTSA clearance from any level. No matter what, until the verdict there is some doubt hanging over the stock and removing it will cause it to go up, IMO.
     
  5. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Welcome to the forum, _Hopeful!
     
  6. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    I don't disagree, but think it will be less of a pop as time goes on with no new fires.
     
  7. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    I don't see this happening but what if the NHTSA simply said, because there have no new fires with the suspensions set to high that the option to lower suspensions will be severely restricted or entirely eliminated? Case closed.
     
  8. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    to the original poster's question,

    nothing is a done deal until it is a done deal, so I still have some small concern re what the NHTSA comes out with, though I think it is extremely unlikely (under 0.1%) to be anything that will threaten the long term path Tesla is on.

    I did find interesting Elon's responses to questions re the investigation during Wednesday's call. he did not speak with any bravado or expectation, but in soft tones said more or less: we're eagerly awaiting NHTSA's decision and hopeful they'll reach the conclusion all the other countries (x,y,z...) reached.

    since then, I've thought his tone and words could either be that 1) Elon has been drilled on not speaking out about ongoing investigations, or 2) it is not entirely a done deal and he until it is he's a bit weary of the whole thing.
     
  9. TSLA_Hopeful

    TSLA_Hopeful Member

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    Hey thanks everyone for their posts! Definitely appreciate the welcome. I guess I am just a little nervous on the human side of the equation (politics, lobbying etc.) and hope that MS is judged in as much of a vacuum as possible. It's the human factor that makes me think there is a very very low but not insignificant chance of some challenges, and was hoping someone on the forum knew of the types of internal controls and regulations at govt. agencies that may minimize the human factor and ensure all players are judge as fairly as possible (tough to do I know).
     
  10. evme

    evme Member

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    The NHTSA is part of the executive branch. If you want to talk political goes, it would not be in the executive branch's interest for any harm to come to Tesla.

    Overblown by the media. The previous head of the NHTSA agreed with Musk and the current head of the NHTSA had only good things to say about Tesla's co-operation. There was no spat over the recall term or any fiasco.
     
  11. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    That was not my impression because he immediately followed it all up by making the point that the Model S had been cleared in every other country, and then went on to list a number of countries.

    To the OP, Elon Musk can take care of Elon Musk and interests. He took on the NYT's and other media, various individuals from political heads to popular movie stars, he's battling NADA in several states, and he'll stand up against the NHTSA too if he thinks his company is getting a raw deal. If the NHTSA issues a recall, they're going to have to have a very good reason backed up with hard science, or Elon Musk is going to be on them like white on rice.
     
  12. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Exactly. After Broder et al., I don't think anyone really wants to go up against Elon on an engineering issue in the court of public opinion. Imagine how many petitions we'd be signing here at TMC if a corrupt official were to try anything shady.
     

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