Tesla founder argues claims that the vehicles are fire prone


Confronted with a flood of bad publicity over three fires, Tesla Motors founder, Elon Musk, took to social media to confront criticism that Tesla may be fire prone.

A Federal investigation is currently underway looking into several claims of Tesla batteries catching on fire. 

Dale Raaen owns a Tesla and says he still loves his car, despite the federal probe.

“I think it's a media reaction, over reaction, to the fires that have occurred because really no one was ever in any danger like normal car fires are," says Raaen.

Renowned brand strategist expert and author, David Aaker agrees.

"What's more problematic for Tesla is the fact that these fires got so much press," says Aaker.

To counter that bad publicity in the traditional media, Tesla founder Elon Musk took to Twitter, the Blogosphere and other social media, saying: "What makes this incredibly unjust is that the Model S to date has the best safety record of any car on the road (no injuries or deaths ever)."

Golden Gate University Professor of Consumer Psychology Kit Yarrow says Elon Musk occupies a very special place in the hearts of consumers, especially those who aspire to own a high end electric car.

"Elon Musk has a personal relationship with nearly half a million Twitter followers so, though social media I think, in some ways, he has terrific credibility that, you know, it kind of competes with the credibility of the government in no other CEO of a car company really can," says Yarrow.

That can carry the ball in the social media world," adds brand expert Aaker.

The only way you can judge the Tesla is in light of how it performs against other cars and KTVU crunched those numbers. There are more than a quarter billion passenger cars in the U.S and according to safety and government agencies, on average; 194,000 cars suffer roadway fires. That works out to about one fire in about every 1300 vehicles. 20,000 Tesla S models on the road and there have so far been three Tesla fires which means, only one in 6300 have burned.

“The data show, that the Tesla car is probably six to seven times safer than a gasoline engine car," says Aaker.

"This car is far superior to any car I've ever driven," says Tesla Owner Dale Raaen.

Experts say Tesla’s greatest danger would be more fires, which could cause Musk to lose control of the argument.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Gradual weekend warm-up; Possible light showers to cause slick roads
Gradual weekend warm-up; Possible light showers to cause slick roads

Gradual warm-up this weekend Wet Sunday into Monday Colder with snow showers Tuesday TODAY: Increasing clouds and breezy for the day with temperatures climbing to the lower 40s. However, winds will make it feel like the upper 20s to lower 30s during the afternoon. Areas of light drizzle and mist will develop tonight as temperatures dip into the mid...
Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed
Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed

An autopsy on former major-leaguer Roy Halladay showed that he had amphetamines, morphine and a sleep aid in his system when he died in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida, The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. Halladay, 40, died Nov. 7 from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical...
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can

Amanda Mattuchio said her parents use a fake can of Campbell's Tomato Soup to hide their cash. Unfortunately, they stored it alongside real soup cans in their kitchen. “The bottom would unscrew and it had $2,500 in it and it was a combination of $100 and $50 bills,” she said. “The neighbor upstairs asked them if they had any canned...
70 years of focusing on diplomacy, global affairs
70 years of focusing on diplomacy, global affairs

For 70 years, the Dayton Council on World Affairs has been working to engage and educate in our region on the intricacies and importance of global events. As the group readies for its anniversary celebration, we spoke with Monica Schultz, its board president, and board member Carolyn Rice about the history and mission of the council. To learn more...
Senate fails to pass budget; government shutdown now official 
Senate fails to pass budget; government shutdown now official 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12:00 a.m. The government shutdown is now official, as the deadline has been reached with no deal in place. The White House released a statement on what they are calling the ‘Schumer Shutdown:’ “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight...
More Stories