Tesla Motors, the best-performing U.S. auto stock this year, got a double dose of good news as U.S. officials chose not to probe a Model S battery fire and California deferred changes to a state program that would pare Tesla’s revenue from green-car credits.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) said today in a statement it found no evidence that the fire on a Washington state highway resulted from a Model S defect or violations of U.S. safety standards. The car struck metal debris that pierced its lithium-ion battery pack, according to state officials and Tesla.
“We have a six-millimeter thick armor plate on the bottom of the car,” Musk said in a Bloomberg interview. The debris “punched through that armor plate into the battery pack and crushed several of the battery cells. It took several minutes, but a few of those cells caught fire.”
The federal safety agency didn’t send investigators to the scene of the Oct. 1 fire because it was the first day of a 16-day U.S. government shutdown. After consulting with the company, regulators decided not to begin an investigation, which could have lead to recalls.
Also today, California’s Air Resources Board delayed a decision on a change to the state’s strict zero-emission vehicle program that would have reduced the amount of ZEV credits Tesla earns from sales in the most-populous U.S. state. The carmaker is the biggest seller of the California credits, according to an annual tally released last week.
) - Friday, October 25th, 2013 - filed under Industry
. Image credit: .
Discuss: Tesla avoids US probe on Model S fire