Tesla is yet again making headlines as federal investigators are looking into the possibility of defective cooling systems on early models from the vehicle manufacturer. Certain coolant tubes, which turned out to be prone to leaks, were installed on Model S Teslas from 2012 to 2016. These defective cooling tubes were from a specific manufacturer in China, and Tesla switched to in-house manufacturing of coolant tubes in 2016.
The risk of Tesla batteries overheating and catching fire has been known for some time. However, emails were recently leaked, indicating that at least three key people at the company were well aware that the problem stemmed from defective and leaking coolant tubes in previous years. When a company knows of potentially dangerous defects that can cause injuries, it should stop selling defective vehicles and issue a recall for affected vehicles. However, it appears that Tesla did not take either action with regard to the defective cooling systems.
The National Road Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating the matter since car manufacturers are expected to inform the agency within five days of discovering defects that can impact consumer safety. NHTSA never received this notice from Tesla regarding the defective cooling systems, which increase the chance of battery fires.
The Cooling System Defects
It is critical for all electric vehicles to have proper cooling systems to prevent overheating, fires, and explosions. According to tests conducted on the systems used by Tesla from 2012 to 2016, the coolant tubes were prone to developing small holes and cracks, which can result in leaks. In addition, the tubes did not always fit properly, and workers often used hammers to force tubes into position. This often meant the connection between the tubes and the rest of the system was not secure.
If you own a Tesla Model S from the applicable years, you should be careful regarding potential battery fires until Tesla announces a recall and fix for the issue. Reports indicate that the closer to 100 percent full a battery gets, the higher the risk becomes of overheating.
Claims for Vehicle Defects and Injuries
When the batteries of electric vehicles like Teslas become too hot, they can spontaneously combust or can burst into flames if the vehicle is in a collision. There have been numerous instances of Teslas catching fire in a crash, resulting in severe or fatal injuries. In this situation, injured victims or the families of deceased accident victims often have the right to take action against the manufacturer that sold the high-risk defective vehicle. These claims can be complicated, however, and highly technical. It is important to seek help from an experienced product liability attorney in Los Lunas.
Consult with a Los Lunas Product Liability Lawyer Today
The Law Firm of David C. Chavez, LLC, takes on high-powered corporations like Tesla and other vehicle manufacturers in defective product claims. If you were injured and believe a defective car was to blame, call 505-865-9696 or contact us online for your free consultation as soon as you can.