back to article US road safety watchdog decides against probe into Tesla battery fires

America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday denied a request to investigate the safety of Tesla’s electric car batteries following a series of vehicle fires in 2018 and 2019. A man named Edward Chen filed a petition in September 2019 urging the regulator to launch a probe into Tesla’s vehicles to see if …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Not So Sure

    While batteries do not tolerate very fast recharging rates very well especially Li based systems its not clear if the fault is with Tesla, the charger or both. Chargers should be limiting the charge the put into a car anyway as Li batteries are notorious for not tolerating an overly fast charge. There are not enough details supplied about the chargers themselves to know. Though is not to say there isn't a fault on the Tesla monitoring and charging systems at the same time. If it is Tesla, it is also not clear whether the problem is fundamentally a battery problem or something else. Government Motors issued a warning the Chevy Dolts could catch fire due to a faulty battery.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Not So Sure

      "its not clear if the fault is with Tesla, the charger or both. ... it is also not clear whether the problem is fundamentally a battery problem or something else."

      Or, to paraphrase the report, there doesn't appear to be a fundamental problem at all ...

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Not So Sure

      Where a tesla battery is being charged using a tesla bms from a tesla supercharger...

      I suspect that any issue would be tesla's...

      Of course the statement rather suggests that there is no issue to answer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not So Sure

        In China, when a tesla battery is being charged using a (allegedly)"tesla" bms from a (allegedly) "tesla" supercharger...

        There, fixed that for you. I'm not sure if the hassle of swapping out genuine Tesla battery packs for locally-manufactured "replacements" is worth it so I didn't bother editing that part :-)

  2. werdsmith Silver badge

    A Tesla battery is loads of individual cells, so I am going to hazard that the chances of one of them going wrong, after it’s initially quality tested, are something reasonable.

    Of course, I haven’t a clue what I’m talking about but my pub-bore qualification leads me to intuitively assume.

    1. JohnG

      Yes - but the incidence of individual cell failures that cause fires is likely to be massively less than the incidence of all individual cell failures. Some individual cell may result in lower battery capacity and corresponding reduction in range and a few may result in the failure of an entire battery module and an undriveable car.

      AIUI, a battery cell charged in accordance with the specifications can overheat if there are impurities in the electrolyte. But a cell overheating does not necessarily lead to fire.

  3. Wolfclaw

    No investigation, cheers have this brown stuffed envelope !

  4. Trollslayer

    Tesla and testing

    Testing EVs in the USA is more often in Arizona because it is much easier to get approved for the whole USA.

    Now where do we think Tesla carry out testing....

  5. Binraider Silver badge

    Petrol is also flammable, I hear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I heard that these days its safe to smoke and juggle fireworks in UK petrol stations.

      1. John Robson Silver badge


    2. Ahab Returns

      Indeed, highly, but that doesn't mean we should accept batteries or charging points that are unsafe.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Define unsafe...

        Few enough incidents that they *all* make the news, as opposed to just some youtube "funny" reel in a few years time?

        We should really insist that at least one (pre-nominated) day a year every road death gets full national coverage.

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