Tesla Crisis Communication 

Tesla is the world’s leading electric automobile manufacturing and clean energy-providing American multinational company. The Tesla car caught on fire on the highway and its video on YouTube attracted the attention of a lot of people; the automobile brand and its CEO carefully launched a crisis management approach to deal with the situation. Today, we’ll discuss the Tesla crisis communication and Tesla crisis management; crisis event, strategic approach, and lessons learned from the company’s crisis strategic approach. 

Crisis Event to Tesla 

An incident occurred in 2013 when a car Tesla Model S caught fire on a Washington highway after being hit by a metal object. The automotive brand said that the fire started at the battery pack when the metal object hit the battery and damaged its surface. 

However, the video of Tesla’s car catching fire became viral on YouTube and it attracted the attention of a lot of people including the company’s CEO Elon Musk, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The involvement of various people and over-media attention increased the significance of the crisis event. 

Strategic Approach to Tesla Crisis Communication 

Let’s discuss the strategic approach of Tesla crisis communication and Tesla crisis management; they’re as follows; 


When the incident happened, CEO Elon Musk and the company’s PR apologized to the victims and the users of Tesla vehicles for the tragic incident. The automobile brand showed its strong commitment to developing safer and high-quality vehicles to avoid the occurrence of such incidents in the future. 

Investigation of Incident 

CEO Elon Musk said that the NHTSA would conduct a detailed thorough investigation of the vehicle caught fire incident and the company would comply with their investigation process. He further added that the company has updated its software for the Model S so that wouldn’t touch the ground at high speed. As a result, it would decrease the risk of exposing the batteries to any type of external damage like puncturing and catching the fire. 

Emphasizing Safety Features 

Instead of talking about Tesla and Model S, the company’s PR and CEO Elon Musk successfully shifted the focus on the safety measures that the company has taken to ensure the safety of its users and customers. however, it allowed the automobile brand to keep performing its retail operations without jeopardizing the brand’s reputation and negatively impacting the particular model. 

Imagining Fire on Gas Vehicle 

Along with focusing on the safety features, measures, and protocols; Tesla’s spokesperson mentioned that Model S is not the only vehicle that caught fire. There is a very long list of vehicles of various automotive brands that have caught fire over the years. The PR person said that the fire and scale of the incident would have been much worse if it had been a gasoline-powered automobile. However, the reason was safe during the fire incident, because it was an electric automobile. It allowed the company to shift the situation to its advantage. 

Compensating Driver & Insurance Coverage

The automobile brand Tesla announced that the vehicle warranty would cover the damages of the particular vehicle catching fire incident. Offering compensation to one customer helped the company to prove its commitment to the target customer market and the automobile brand valued its customers no matter whatever the situation and incident. From the marketing perspective, it allowed the brand to earn the trust and confidence of customers and avoid millions of dollars in lawsuits. 

Result of Investigation 

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) finished its investigation in March 2014. The result of the investigation showed that the Model S Tesla was a safe vehicle and it had passed all the safety tests. However, the automobile brand also made a strong commitment to further increase the protection of its battery packs. 

From 2014 onward, Tesla fulfilled its promise and replaced the three-layer battery packing with an aluminum shield over the battery packs. It allowed the company to strengthen its security features and improve the safety and security of its customers. 

Lessons Learned from Tesla Crisis Management 

Let’s discuss the lessons learned from the Tesla crisis management event and Tesla crisis communication strategy; they’re as follows; 

Took Responsibility 

As soon as the incident occurred, Tesla’s leadership came forward and they apologized to the victims and the customers market for the tragic incident. They fully cooperated with NHTSA in conducting the investigation and focused on finding the exact reasons and causes behind the incident. 

Value Customers & Safety 

Even though the investigation by NHTSA cleared Tesla from the incident; the company persisted in improving the safety measures and protocols. The automobile brand also covered the damages of the vehicle owner and apologized to the victims for the incident. However, it shows the company’s strong commitment to the safety of customers. 

Safety Steps 

Tesla kept on increasing the safety and security features of its vehicles to avoid the occurrence of such incidents in the future. It showed that how much the automobile brand valued the customers and their safety. 

Conclusion: Tesla Crisis Management | Strategic Crisis Communication of Tesla 

After an in-depth study of the Tesla crisis communication; we have realized that Tesla is the world’s leading retail automobile manufacturing brand. If you are learning about Tesla crisis management; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned crisis event; the strategic approach to managing the crisis, and lessons learned from the incident. 

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