Tesla must tell the U.S. government whether it has made any "changes to the design, material, composition or function" of the vehicle to address defect allegations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Tesla Motors to submit detailed records as part of its investigation into battery fires that occurred in Model S vehicles.
As part of any investigation, NHTSA asked for all customer complaints, field reports, warranty claims and property damage claims to assess defect allegations. The target of the investigation is the possibility of road debris impacting the battery pack of the vehicle and causing a short, stall or fire.
The Detroit News today reported that NHTSA wants the results of any internal "tests, studies, surveys, simulations, internal investigations and any other Tesla efforts" to investigate allegations of a defect in the Model S.
Tesla must tell the government whether it has made any "changes to the design, material, composition or function" of the vehicle to address defect allegations.
The NHTSA letter told Tesla to "describe in detail all possible consequences to the vehicle from an impact to the subject component that damages the battery. Describe in detail how these possible consequences were addressed in the design of the (Model S) and the limits of that design to prevent damage to the propulsion battery, stalling and fires."
Tesla also must turn over any documents it has issued to dealers, regional offices, fleet purchasers and other entities that relate to the alleged defect; this includes all bulletins, advisories and informational documents. NHTSA further told Tesla that it wants detailed engineering drawings of the "subject component," including all battery components and subassemblies.
The company has until Jan. 14, 2014, to respond to the letter from NHTSA.