Tesla Motors, easily the best US auto stock this year, got two good news as US safety regulators chose not to probe a Model S battery fire and California delayed changes to a state program that would diminish Tesla’s profits from green-car credits.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) announced it found no evidence that the fire on a Washington state highway was prompted by a Model S defect or any breaches of US safety laws. The vehicle hit metal debris that impacted 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 the 16-day U.S. government furlough. After consulting with the company, regulators decided not to begin a probe.
Also today, California’s Air Resources Board deffered a decision on a change to the state’s zero-emission vehicle program that would have diminished the amount of ZEV credits Tesla earns from sales in the U.S. state.