German Federal Motor Transport Authority clears Tesla Model S after fires

The lithium ion battery in this Model S caught fire after the vehicle collided with a large metallic object on a road in the U.S. state of Washington.

Tesla Model S electric car is being investigated for a possible U.S. recall, but was cleared of any safety defect in a review by Germany’s transportation regulator, the company said.

Tesla had been asked to provide technical data to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority after three recent crashes involving the Model S that ended in fires.

The German agency, like the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has authority to request recalls if a defect is discovered.

“No manufacturer-related defects could be found,” Tesla said, citing documents from the agency. “Therefore, no further measures under the German Product Safety Act are deemed necessary,” the company added.

Tesla, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, has been the fastest-growing automotive stock in the world this year as the company expanded sales of its Model S premium sedans priced from $70,000 to more than $100,000. Those shares have tumbled in the past month as the company posted third-quarter results that fell short of some analysts’ estimates and amid reports of the crash-related fires.

“German govt reviews Tesla Model S fires,” Musk said in a Twitter post yesterday. “All due to high speed impacts, no injuries. Concludes: no defects, no recall.”

Tesla sells the Model S in certain European markets. It started selling the sedan in Germany in the second half.

The NHTSA said last month it would look into the fire risks from the undercarriage of the Model S striking objects. In two such U.S. cases, one on Oct. 1 in Washington state and another in Tennessee on Nov. 6, Model S drivers hit metallic road debris that caused battery-casing damage and resulted in fires.

The U.S. agency hasn’t yet announced the results of its investigation.