Tesla S Gets 2 Thumbs Up From Its Owners!
In the middle of the investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into the safety of the Tesla Model S, the vehicle has come out top of the latest owner satisfaction charts by Consumer Reports Magazine. In the annual survey of buyers of new vehicles, the owners of Tesla Model S cars gave the all-electric vehicle a 99 out of 100 rating, an almost perfect score and the highest achieved by any vehicle for years.
The survey conducted by Consumer Reports Magazine and which hinges on whether the owner would buy the car again polled some 350 000 owners, covering cars bought between 2011 to present. The Tesla beat the Porsche Boxter into second place and, somewhat surprisingly, a second all-electric vehicle coming in third, the Chevrolet Volt.
In the Consumer Reports article, there was no mention of the recent fires, but then again why would they? Constant mentions of the fires have clearly started to annoy Elon Musk, the CEO and Product Designer of Tesla. On his recent tweet, he stated, “Why does a Tesla fire w (sic) no injury get more media headlines than 100 000 gas car fires that kill 100s of people a year.” And a second tweet read, “What makes this incredibly unjust is that the Model S to date has the best safety record of any car on the road (no injuries or deaths ever).”
Our friend Elon was not finished there. At the New York Times DealBook conference, he didn’t hesitate to inform all that would listen that the car would not be recalled. “There is definitely not going to be a recall,” Musk said last Tuesday. “There is no reason for a recall…The perception is, if you read the headlines, that Teslas have a greater propensity to catch fire than other cars, and actually nothing can be further from the truth.”
The NHTSA, along with engineers and executives from Tesla and perhaps external experts, will study the 2 Model S battery fires. In particular, they will be looking to see if a design flaw in the electric car contributed to the battery fires last month; in both cases, the cars burst into flames after they struck objects on the road. In an interview with CNBC, the NHTSA Administrator, David Strickland, said that there is no time frame for how long any investigation should take.
Based on the investigation, NHTSA will decide if grounds exist for a recall and on a specific process to address the problem. “We want to get this done right. Sometimes investigations take a handful of weeks, sometimes they take several months,” said Strickland. “I have no real indication of how long this will take but with Tesla willing to be very proactive in helping us, hopefully it will be on the shorter end.” So, much to Musk’s displeasure, it is not clear how long the NHTSA investigation will take. But despite Musk’s declarations, it is in fact the NHTSA that will make the recall determination.