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US decides not to open formal probe of Tesla software updates, battery fires

FILE - This Feb. 9, 2019 file photo shows a sign bearing the company logo outside a Tesla store...
FILE - This Feb. 9, 2019 file photo shows a sign bearing the company logo outside a Tesla store in Cherry Creek Mall in Denver.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:25 AM CDT
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DETROIT (AP) — U.S. automobile safety regulators have denied a petition seeking an investigation into Tesla software updates, saying it’s unlikely a probe would show there’s a safety defect.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday denied the 2019 petition, which alleged that over-the-internet software updates cut battery range in response to battery fires across the globe.

The agency says in documents posted in the Federal Register that it found a pattern of fires in China after the vehicles were charged up at Supercharger fast-charging stations.

But no similar fires were identified in the U.S.

Three noncrash fires outside of China that were cited in the petition either did not start in the battery or were not related to fast charging, the agency said.

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