Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S caught fire in the Seattle area on Tuesday, which crashed their stock prices to almost 6 percent the following day. However, the fire issue will not be investigated by the concerned agency due to the government shutdown, which otherwise may have resulted in the recall of the Model S.
Shutdown prevents investigation
If the shutdown were not the case, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s fire incident would have been investigated by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the government’s auto safety watchdog. However, with the shutdown, the NHTSA is no longer publishing recall information on its website and there was no word over the investigation.
The Model S caught fire when the driver of the car reportedly hit massive metal debris and came off the highway. The driver was driving towards the south on state route 167 through Kent, according to Chris Webb, Trooper of the Washington State Patrol.
Tesla investors worried
The fireman had to throw rounds of fire extinguisher on the car as the fire kept reigniting, according to Webb. The trooper did not see any metal debris on the road, but Department of Transportation workers did talk about some metal stuff on the scene.
In its statement, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said that the probable cause of the damage might be the metal debris that hit the car, and the design and engineering of the car kept the flames on just the front of the car.
“All indications are that the fire never entered the interior cabin of the car. It was extinguished on-site by the Fire Department,” the statement said.
Stocks of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) increased 400 percent since the start of the year. However, investors started offloading their Tesla shares soon after the news broke, as they feared that the defective battery pack might be the cause of the fire.
Other similar incidents
Two years back, three Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid cars caught fire after the crash testing, but NHTSA investigators concluded that the cars were not risky compared to vehicles with conventional gasoline engines. However, the fire incident caused damage to the reputation of car sales. General Motors executives believe that the fire broke out due to coolant leaking from a damaged plastic cover around the batteries after side impact test crashes.
Boeing Co.’s 787 planes all over the world fell victim to Lithium ion batteries, earlier this year, as the batteries caught fire after getting overheated. Planes resumed operations after four months only after a refurbished battery system was placed.