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Elon's New Blog Post

What a champ, increases ride height, will give us control in january and will replace any car which catches fire...always pleasantnly surprised.

Holy sh*t... looking forward to get control over the air suspention comfort level.

Sarcasm... damned - he didn't address the super urgent issue of the missing + sign in the display.

Great job Elon - and again Thanks.

I can't wait to get firmware 6.0! (Delivery in February, so fingers crossed.)

Unfortunately, if you drive over a tow hitch (for example) and your battery does NOT catch fire BUT is so damaged that it still needs to be replaced, Tesla will not cover it. So there's still a chance of that $50,000 payment if you're unlucky enough to not (sic) have a fire.

The gauntlet has been thrown,

OK. Let's see what the market does with this. It was a most needed post. I agree with him that the degree of scrutiny of the company is far and beyond reasonable. Ditto the standard to which they are being held.

An excellent blog post, much needed - hoping the market reacts favorably in light of his brilliant breakdown of this issue.

Damn, Elon has his finger on the pulse. Haven't seen such brilliant moves like this since Steve Jobs.. Great ride Elon, fun to watch.

An honest and straightforward response. Love it!

The stones to do what others only dream of doing....
Way to go!

wow! i thought this morning when i saw that the NHTSA open form investigation into Tesla Model S fires was that this world is so unfair. then i read the blog! unfortunately the news didn't say that Tesla asked for this to happen and would think like me that it was opened by NHTSA themselves.

love the company and car, cannot imagine driving anything else!

Return of the Jedi.

I wasn't a fan of Elon stooping to the media's level of using sensationalist numbers for some of his points, and he seemed a little more bitter in his tone than usual. I also think he should have given owners a heads up about the coming update, but I can imagine he wanted to post this blog earlier but was waiting to coordinate with the NHTSA.

That said, I like that they're addressing the elephant in the room and asking NHTSA to investigate. Short term it'll be rough, but in the long run this scrutiny probably would have happened at some point anyways so might as well get it over with.

Just one highlight arguing the safety of EVs vs. ICE -- from the blog post:
"There is a real, physical reason for this: a gasoline tank has 10 times more combustion energy than our battery pack... It is also why arsonists tend to favor gasoline. Trying to set the side of a building on fire with a battery pack is far less effective."

Buy! Buy! Buy! - stock, car anything!

Very intelligent response as you'd expect from Elon. He's sincerely on a mission and he's all in.

He is absolutely right to point out the absurd double standard in the press.

This warranty enhancement will effectively kill off most risk that insurance companies might discriminate with higher rates, since Tesla will now cover these claims at no cost to the insurer.

I predict there will also be further refinements to the warranty policy to deal with battery damage cost anxiety. This bit of backfill will squelch irrational fear of a $50k hit from a debris scrape ever happening in a typical lifetime.

I suggest a repair / replacement policy for a battery damaged by road debris. I propose a deductible of $2,500 per incident, with exclusions for intentional damage, and for full-blown traffic collisions - those should be covered by normal auto insurance. The stop-loss limit will quell fears, while the deductible will discourage irresponsible behavior.

For each of these cases, the long term statistics will bear out that Tesla will have minimal actual claims and costs. The car is simply better than all alternatives, and this bogus press focus is a bum rap that will get outed over time.

The probability of any such incident ever affecting an owner is miniscule. The recent spate of events was a poisson cluster. It wasn't experienced in the months prior, and is not likely to replay in the months ahead at the same rate.

The problem is perception, and the solution is policy.

A very smart and stand-up job Elon. A big Bravo from all of us who along with you believe in this mission.

The wave of change is coming and it won't be stopped.

I agree with the this blog: the media are searching for easy headlines and Tesla or EVs in general are a hot topic. It is harder to find really thought through and researched articles.

I also think that the model S is probably the safest car out there, but when it comes to the probability of fire Elon Musk does not give a accurate picture in this blog. He says that the Model S is 4,5 times less likely to catch a fire than that of a ICE car, but he compares 2012/2013 Model S to an average car on the streets. An average car in the US is 11,4 years old and did cost 30k USD new, while a average Model S is 0,5 years old and did cost 90k new.
You cannot compare old cheap cars with expensive new once and suggest that EV's or Tesla is less likely to catch a fire than ICE cars.
You should compare the Model S to similar new luxury cars like the 2013 Benz S, Audi A8, BMW 7. I am sure the results wont' be that great.
Please note that the source Elon Musk quotes in 2012 there were 172,500 HW car fires, while 11 years earlier in 2001 we had 327,000 HW car fires. According to U.S. Department of Transportation data with every year we have on average 3,5 mln cars more in the US (226 mln in 2001, no data for 2012, but the Automotive News article mentions 250 mln). So in 2001 we had 1 fire for every 691 cars, in 2012 we had 1 fire for every 1500 cars. So in the last 11 years car fires become 2,17 times less likely. I cannot find data, how the price of a car impacts the chance of a car catching fire, but it's hard to argue that a 90k car won't be saver than a 30k car.
I do not believe EV's are less likely to catch fire than ICE cars. But it is probably true that a new 90k USD Model S from 2013 is less likely to catch a fire than the average car being used in the US right now: a 11,4 year old car, that did cos 30k USD, when it was bought new.

And why not amend overall car safety standards and require coverage against fire! Period!

A very good post and set of solutions to psychological runaway events like insurance company psychosis, etc.. Just right..

@Mark K I've always been impressed with your posts. Thoughtful, intelligent, on point and, most of all, a pleasure to read. I found this post of yours from March of 2012.

You give Tesla and the forum some excellent advice and I feel it bears repeating because neither Tesla nor the Forum have changed very much since.

Kaczmaerk85 - One can pick nits with simplified statistics, but here's the bottom line - I think the data over time will make very clear that EVs are indeed far less likely to have a fire.

This is driven by engineering reality - it is much more difficult to manage the combustion risk of a highly volatile, explosive liquid hydrocarbon fuel which can leak near hot exhaust system elements that are at ignition temperature.

And while old cars may have more failures, new gas cars can and do have assembly defects that result in gas leaks and fires. It is simply too hard to contain that risk 100%.

An EV battery energy source is solid state and has no parts at ignition temperature. It is inherently safer. Over time, the statistics will tilt far in favor of EVs.

It's intrinsic to the difference in technology.

To those of you who believe it will affect the stock positively, I am not so sure.

If you read the headlines, they are all :
- U.S. Safety Agency Opens Inquiry Into Tesla Fires at New York Times
- [$$] U.S. Safety Agency to Probe Tesla Models at The Wall Street Journal
- Feds open formal probe into Tesla electric car fires at USA TODAY

When they should be:
- Tesla Requests a Formal Probe into the Car Fires at

Good for tesla -- let's get the inquiry over with. we'll remove any uncertainty sooner, and any resultant recall will be cheaper for the company. And by asking for the investigation, they are telling us all they can handle it from a cash flow perspective.

As far as the stock goes -- this is still a momentum stock, and with end of year selling beginning, it might still trade "heavy" until the headline risk is resolved. But my guess is that when its resolved, you'll already want to own the stock. I'm gonna start a new position at these levels.

The stock will go down initially I am sure. its volatile and lots of folks are playing it up and down. Great blog by Elon, the guy is amazing really. I will be looking for that oppurtunity to put more into the stock soon.

Jtodtman - very kind comment. Your writing and many contributions on this forum are much appreciated too.

We are (mostly) all fans of Elon & TM here, so obviously we see it as a perfect response that effectively rebuts the irrationality abounding right now. Unfortunately most people won't read Elon's post and it will take a long time for the misperception regarding Tesla & fire risk to get corrected. So if anyone is expecting a significant reversal of the stock price to the upside anytime soon, I'd say it's unlikely.

Thank you Mark K and jtodtman. Well done.

Also, thank you to Elon: visionary and appropriate. Love it.

It is a high valued stock, on top of an re inflated stock bubble, with record low interest rates and still artificially pumping cash into markets, financed with record debts... You can't be surprised if it is volatile as is, not to mention on buzz words...

I wonder if Elon's blog post was all it took to send TSLA in the opposite direction? Up 4-5% at the moment after falling consistently for several days. Grabbed some at 122...

Good to see someone in the financial press reporting accurately:

Fantastic mission statement!

Tesla supports the customer the best it can. for a startup that is hard to do.

I will support Tesla's goal to make a mainstream electric car.

thanks to all the Tesla workers.

I'm piling on the Mark K praise. That was a nice post above.

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