Tesla's Alleged Battery Coolant Coverup Investigated by the NHTSA

It's been too long since the automotive world was last rocked by a huge scandal, so perhaps this might turn out to be the one to change that. Just last month, a journalistic investigation claimed that back in 2012, Tesla Motors knowingly continued to install potentially faulty battery cooling systems that could have led to damaging the battery permanently or even to fires.
Tesla Model S burning in LA in 2018 91 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
The initial probing was done by Business Insider who got hold of a series of emails from back when the Model S was just coming to market. The messages revealed that Tesla knew about the problem, had the faulty part checked by an independent outfit - IMR Test Labs in NY - received an unsatisfactory rating, but continued to deliver the cars regardless.

Four years later, Tesla cut ties with the cooling tubes supplier (a company from China) and started manufacturing the items in house, but the issue was never brought to the public's attention. Considering the fault has the potential for important damage to the car (rendering the battery inoperative) or even to the people inside (the battery catching fire), federal laws say the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should have been notified. Then, a recall for all affected vehicles would have been issued.

The Los Angeles Times now reports that the NHTSA has taken notice of the issue and conducting its own investigation saying it is “well aware of the reports regarding this issue and will take action if appropriate based upon the facts and data.”

As is customary in these situations, the Los Angeles Times also reached out to Tesla Motors for comments on the situation, but the EV maker has not responded so far. However incriminatory that may seem at first, it could be just as well a case of waiting for the results of the official probing before mounting a defense if that even proves to be necessary. We should have a resolution for the case in the coming days, so stay tuned.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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