Has Tesla’s Safe Image Gone Up in Smoke to the Public?
Has the Tesla S’ Reputation as the Safest Car Gone Up in Flames?
Specialist automotive company, Tesla Motors has certainly made its mark as a manufacturer of safe, high performance electric vehicles. In May 2013 Consumer Reports magazine proclaimed that the Tesla Model S had outscored “every other car in our test ratings.”
In August, the NHTSA awarded the Tesla Model S a Five-Star rating, with an overall Vehicle Safety Score of 0.42, for frontal, side, and roll-over crashes. This is the best score of any vehicle the agency has tested under a new rating system it began applying in 2011.
Although the NHTSA test has no specific battery tests, it’s interesting that in Tesla’s press release on their achievement they state: “The Model S lithium-ion battery did not catch fire at any time before, during or after the NHTSA testing. It is worth mentioning that no production Tesla lithium-ion battery has ever caught fire in the Model S or Roadster, despite several high speed impacts. While this is statistically unlikely to remain the case long term, Tesla is unaware of any Model S or Roadster occupant fatalities in any car ever.”
A Tesla Model S experiences a battery fire after an accident.
All this good news translated to a share price that rose from $35 on the 2nd of January to $184 in September. Everything was going well for the small company from Fremont, California… until a Model S was involved in an accident early in October. The resultant battery fire saw Tesla shares fall 6 percent in 24 hours, and drop a further $7.64, or 4.2 percent the following day.
Despite the fact that there were no injuries the news soon went viral and at $173.31Tesla’s market value dropped about $2.4 billion in two days…
( Excerpted from an article by Peter Els)
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