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Published on December 3rd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


German Transport Authority Agrees With Tesla On Safety Of Tesla Model S, Lack Of Manufacturing Defects

tesla-model-s-appleNew technology gets scrutinized much more then existing technology — it’s a fact of life. Since the Tesla Model S went into production, over 250,000 gasoline-powered cars have reportedly caught fire in the US. How many Teslas have caught fire? Three. Yep, that’s 250,000 to 3. Of course, a much smaller number of Teslas are built. But even looking at the matter in relative terms, Elon Musk notes that there is ”an average of one fire per at least 6,333 [Tesla] cars, compared to the rate for gasoline vehicles of one fire per 1,350 cars.”

As most of you know, Tesla was awarded the highest safety rating ever by the NHTSA earlier this year. It is a freakin’ safe car. In the 3 incidents where a Model S caught fire, the drivers were not harmed by the fires at all and even the cabins of the cars were protected. Drivers noted how thankful they were to have been driving a Model S, and how the situations had made them even bigger fans of the car.

Unfortunately, that’s not the story with many a gasmobile fire, from which there have been over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries in the time period noted above. Nonetheless, an insane amount of attention has now been put on the safety of the Tesla Model S. Oy, society.

Responding to potential concerns, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) decided to investigate the matter and check for manufacturing defects. Tesla complied, providing data and additional information related to the three Tesla fires noted above.

KBA conducted its investigation and came to the same conclusion as Tesla, writing:

“According to the documents, no manufacturer-related defects [herstellerseitiger Mangel] could be found. Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary.”

The full letter is available in English and German on the Tesla Motors website.

Keep a close eye on the latest Tesla Model S news and Tesla news here on CleanTechnica.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Otis11

    ”an average of one fire per at least 6,333 [Tesla] cars, compared to the rate for gasoline vehicles of one fire per 1,350 cars.”

    That’s a fact to keep on hand…
    (Been told 3 times in the past week EV Fire danger was too high… once by a firefighter.)

    • Bob_Wallace

      The media has done its job well.

      Hype and more hype.

      Especially if it supports the conservative viewpoint.

      • Jack

        Haha. You’re saying media supports conservative viewpoints? Fox, yes, but the rest!?

        One of the vehicles was in Mexico…not the USA- FYI Zachary.

        • Bob_Wallace

          WSJ, CNN, Forbes, many newspapers, ….

        • Boosh Woggle

          in this case conservative could mean “the status quo”. EVs by their nature are challenging the automobile industry status quo where fire deaths are so common they don’t even make the news.

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