Tesla holds on to its 5 star NHTSA rating image

U.S. regulators are reviewing the electric carmaker over battery-related fires, but it said the safety rating for its Model S sedan is reaffirmed for the 2014 model year.

The flagship sedan retains a 5-star rating for crashworthiness, the highest designation given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency opened a review of the car last month after fires in Tennessee and Washington state occurred when drivers struck metal debris.

Tesla shares have plunged 26 percent from a record high closing price of $193.37 on Sept. 30 after the battery-related fire reports. A third fire occurred in Mexico when a driver hit a concrete barrier at high speed. There have been no reported injuries resulting from any of the collisions. NHTSA hasn’t said when its review will be completed. Germany’s transportation regulator cleared the Model S of any safety defect this month, removing the possibility of a recall of the car in that country.

European sales of the Model S began this year, and Tesla plans to start selling the car in China in 2014. The company, led by billionaire Elon Musk, has set a goal of delivering 21,500 units globally of the rechargeable sedan this year.

Tesla rose 0.2 % to $143.55 yesterday in New York. The shares have soared more than fourfold this year. Tesla’s U.S. safety rating for 2014 was posted to the Transportation Department’s www.safecar.gov website.

Via Bloomberg