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Electric cars - are they safe?

People are injured in fires and explosions every day across America, and Pittsburgh is no exception. However, fires, and explosions do not occur without a reason. Either someone has started a fire, rather by accident or on purpose, someone has set off a bomb, or a more likely reason is that it is the result of a defective or misused product. Fire injuries are some of the most severe and debilitative injuries a person can experience.

For those who have been injured in fires or explosions, identifying the cause of the accident is important. Depending on the severity of the injuries, it can be a long road back to health and healing, and in the case of a death, there may be no healing for the families. If the fire or explosion was caused by a defective product, the liability of one's accident may fall upon the manufacturer if they had any awareness that the product was unsafe.

The Telsa Motors Model S electric car has come under scrutiny lately after fires broke out in three different accidents. In all three accidents, the fires appeared to originate in the electric cars' batteries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated an investigation into the cause of two of the accidents, one in Washington and one in Tennessee. The other accident occurred in Mexico.

The Model S has been labeled "The Safest Car In America" as its marketing motto. The two accidents in America both occurred allegedly as a result of running over large debris on the highway. The accident in Mexico occurred when the car ran into a wall. In each case, it appeared that the fires began in the battery chambers. Fortunately, there were no injuries from any of these accidents. The Times commented that the lithium-ion battery systems, which are used in computers and equipment as well as electric cars, have been a concern of safety officials and suspect of being fire-prone.

The chief executive officer of Telsa has apparently put a different spin on the story when reporting the accidents on his company's blog. His accident reports focused on the safety mechanisms in place that caused the fire to remain in the front section of the car, and the flames to shoot downward. He also claims that he requested the investigation from the NTHSA to prove the safety of the cars, although they claim that they initiated the investigation first.

Source: csmonitor.net, "Tesla Model S battery fires: US safety probe ordered after third in 6 weeks" Fabien Tepper, Nov. 19, 2013

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