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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) CEO Slams Media For Unreasonable Coverage

Stocks in this article: TSLA

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)aCEO Elon Musk has trashed the media for its coverage of Model S fire accidents, calling it "extremely unreasonable", says a report from USNews.com. Over the past few months, the Tesla Model S has been constantly in the news for catching fire after accidents.

Although the company is taking every step to stem the tide, the stock price has become extremely volatile as investors turn cautious.

Media reports hurting Tesla share price

Since the issues of Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)’s IPO in June 2010, when it traded at $17, the company has come a long way, witnessing a massive surge in stock price to $176, at present. However, with the media taking a greater interest in showing the Model S accident news, share price has been hurt substantially. Elon Musk, recognizing the expectation of the investors said:

"I don't believe in talking up the stock… I think the stock is a good deal where it is right now."

Musk denies media reports

When he was asked whether regulators have investigated the car fires, and if the Model S will undergo some change for preventing these fires from occurring, Elon Musk cast himself as a "perfectionist" when it comes to safety, and said that up to now, no one has been hurt severely while driving a Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) vehicle.

The CEO said that the Model S is as safe as any other car on the road, and reports are overstated. "The headlines are extremely misleading," he said, and added that no one covers news that in 2010 a total of 184,500 vehicles caught fire in the United States in different accidents, as per the data from National Fire Protection Organization.

Since 2008, Tesla has sold approximately 18,000 cars and is looking forward to manufacturing an additional 20,000 Model S cars by the end of 2013.

Analysts reflect mixed reactions

Analyst Thilo Koslowski with the Garter automotive technology research firm said that inability of the car to protect its battery pack may have caused the fire, but it may be too early to draw the conclusion that Model S will see more fires.

Max Wolff, chief economist with the ZT Wealth investment firm, said that though cars catching fire is not as big an issue as the media is creating, but they are a huge problem for company perception.

-By Aman Jain

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