LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Tesla CEO Elon Musk said "there definitely won’t be a recall" of the company’s Model S sedan as the electric-car maker waits to see if U.S. regulators investigate crash-related fires involving the vehicle.
“We’re about five times less likely to have a fire than an average gasoline car,” Musk said today at the New York Times’ DealBook conference in New York, which was telecast on CNBC. Reaction to the fires reported by some media was "extremely inaccurate and unreasonable," Musk said.
Tesla Motors Inc. stock has fallen 22 percent since the company posted third-quarter results last week that disappointed some investors and reports of a Nov. 6 accident in Tennessee that sparked a battery pack-related fire in a Model S. It was the third such incident in five weeks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it’s in contact with local authorities in Tennessee who are investigating the accident. The agency decided not to investigate a previous Model S fire last month in Washington state, which happened after the driver struck a metal object.
In last week’s incident, a Tesla driver in Murfreesboro, Tenn., hit a metal tow hitch that had fallen onto a freeway. Tesla plans to deliver 21,500 units of the Model S, priced from $70,000 to more than $100,000, this year. The car, which received top scores from NHTSA for crash safety, is currently sold in the U.S., Canada and Europe, with sales in China to begin in early 2014.
Musk, 42, is also Tesla’s biggest shareholder.
A Model S blaze also broke out after a crash near Merida, Mexico, in mid-October. NHTSA said on Oct. 24 that it found no evidence the Washington fire, which happened on the first day of a government shutdown, resulted from defects or violations of U.S. safety standards.
The agency said it was aware of the Mexico incident and would monitor the performance of Tesla vehicles.
Tesla shares fell 4.8 percent to $137.80 at the close in New York. Musk spoke after the close.