Tesla Car Fires Due to Battery SoftwareNovember 1, 2019
The Security Agency sent a request for information as it considers complaints that Tesla batteries can be dangerous.
A letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in Teska was dated last week. He asks the electric vehicle manufacturer for detailed information about any complaints the company received about fires on vehicles connected to battery management systems in some S and X models, as well as information about updates made by the automaker to the battery management system. over time.
It was previously reported that the NHTSA Defect Investigation Office launched an investigation on October 1, receiving a defect petition from an unspecified number of Tesla owners on September 17 to find out “the alarming number of car fires that have occurred around the world.”
A September 17 petition sent by Edward Chen’s law firm representing Tesla owners said some of Tesla’s wireless battery management systems were being updated (in particular, the 2019.16.1 and 2019.16.2 updates in May 2019) reduced the overall mileage of electric vehicles. The letter said that the average loss of range was about 25-30 miles, but some owners lost up to 50 miles.
Tesla told Reuters that because of the update: “A very small percentage of owners of older Model S and Model X cars may have noticed a slight decrease in the range when charging to the maximum charge level after updating the software designed to increase battery life.”
What exactly means “battery life” is not clear here. NHTSA now wants to receive data from Tesla to assess whether updates were really made due to fires. NHTSA wants Tesla to provide information and documents regarding OTA software updates released by the company in 2019 that “limit the maximum battery capacity at the maximum charging voltage of the high-voltage battery battery.” In particular, NHTSA is interested in:
How many cars of the 2012 and 2019 models S and X did the company sell in the USA, as well as information about these electric vehicles, such as VIN, the size of the battery, when it was manufactured and sold, if it comes with unlimited free charge, and if and when software updates have been installed.
How many consumer complaints, field reports, property claims, or lawsuits that the company received or learned about them are related to the alleged defect (which NHTSA defines as “high-voltage battery fire not associated with a collision or impact damage to the battery”).
Details of how Tesla reacted to each of these complaints, messages, claims, or lawsuits.
Details of all Tesla wireless updates “regarding charging speed, charging capacity or controlling battery temperature during or after charging” that were sent to cars from January 1, 2017 to the present, and even about any updates the company plans to send in the next 120 days.
Details of all Tesla’s internal battery tests, including charge depth, thermal history, and shorts. Details of all fire-related incidents and whether vehicles that received updates had any differences in fire incidents with electric vehicles that were not updated.
One quick note: Tesla must provide the information required by NHTSA in Microsoft Access 2010 or compatible format.
Until November 29, 2019, Tesla must respond or ask for an extension. If the company does not provide information to the NHTSA, it may face fines of up to $ 22,329 per day, but not more than $ 111,642,265.
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