Government Denies That Elon Musk Requested A Model S Fire Investigation

In a blog post today,
Elon Musk addressed the three recent Tesla Model S fires, saying Tesla had “requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] conduct a full investigation as soon as possible into the fire incidents.”

That’s all well and good, until you consider the statement the NHTSA made to Street Insider, dismissing the notion that the investigation was Tesla’s idea:

NHTSA’s decision to open any formal investigation is an independent process.

In regards to Tesla, the agency notified the automaker of its plans to open a formal investigation and requested their cooperation, which is standard agency practice for all investigations. The automaker agreed to do so.

NHTSA Administration David Strickland went further, telling a House panel today that Tesla did not request an investigation, according to The Detroit News.

This isn’t the first squabble between Musk and the NHTSA. In August, Tesla publicly interpreted the safety rating for the Model S as the best “of any car ever tested.” The Administration issued a rebuke, saying “NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the star rating categories.”

We’ve reached out to Tesla for comment, and will update this post when we hear back.

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