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GERMANY: KBA says no manufacturer-related defect in Model S design

By Dave Leggett | 3 December 2013

Tesla says that its Model S has been cleared by the German authorities from any manufacturer defect related to the recent highly publicised fires that resulted from several accidents.

Tesla says it received a recent inquiry from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), regarding the Model S post-crash fire incidents in Seattle, Tennessee and Mexico.

Tesla says it provided the KBA with data and additional information regarding each of these incidents. The KBA is the German authority in charge of motor vehicle regulation. They have the power to initiate and perform investigations, and compel recalls.

In investigating these incidents, the KBA reviewed Tesla's responses to their inquiries, as well as other information. The KBA subsequently issued the following statement (English translation):

"According to the documents, no manufacturer-related defects [herstellerseitiger Mangel] could be found. Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act [Produktsicherheitsgesetz (ProdSG)] are deemed necessary."

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk recently said that Tesla is aiming to sell 10,000 cars a year in Germany by 2015 as it builds a network of charging stations.

The US NHTSA said last month it would look into the fire risks from the undercarriage of the Model S striking objects and the US regulator is yet to report.

Earlier this year Tesla said it was "pleased with the strong global demand for Model S and is currently receiving orders at a rate greater than 20,000 per year worldwide" with considerable upside potential in Europe and Asia.