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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.



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