Let me be very specific: no car should catch fire as a result of running over debris in the road as happened wih the Teslas in question.
"Running over debris" is not an adequate description of the events. In the first case, the debris impaled the car with a 25 tonne force. In the second case, the car drove through a roundabout, through a wall, and crashed into a tree. In the third case, the car hit a trailer hitch that was sticking up with enough force to lift the car and gouge the tarmac.
Any similar car is going to be catastrophically damaged by events like this, including significant risk of catching fire. It is not reasonable to consider a car catching fire as a result of events like that as defective.
What sort of mental fault causes a person to argue that a fire which could have been avoided is okay because, well, at least nobody got hurt?
Nobody has said that. It's not reasonable to describe these fires as avoidable. You can't make massive, portable energy storage systems that are immune to fire in the event of severe damage, whether those energy storage systems are batteries or petrol.
Eh, which stats are we looking at? You're implying at least 4 accidents...
I'm not, you just don't know what you are talking about. The second accident involved a car driving through a roundabout, through a wall, and into a tree. You are counting that as two accidents because you aren't informed about the accidents you are talking about.
In the same circumstances, a traditional car would not have fared so well.
You require evidence that a traditional car impaled with a 25 tonne force is a fire risk, or that a car that crashes through a wall and into a tree is a fire risk? You think that a traditional car would have remained controllable after being impaled? You think that a traditional car would have stopped the fire from reaching the cabin?
The NHTSA has already reviewed one case and found that the car was not at fault.
Of course it wasn't the car's fault that it encountered debris.
Of course it wasn't. But that's not what the NHTSA said. They said that the fire wasn't a result of a defect in the car. Of course they didn't say that it wasn't the car's fault it encountered debris. You are just saying that to deflect away from the fact that they said the fire wasn't the car's fault.
Of course they're different things: the Ford problem is likely to happen when nobody is in the car (if the engine overheating which eventually leads to the problem occurs during driving, the owner will be warned to pull over and/or seek service, at least for current models); the Tesla problem is likely to happen during driving and without warning. So, the Tesla problem is more dangerous.
No, you still aren't comparing like for like. You are comparing two mutually exclusive things. You are comparing the likelihood of a major accident causing a fire with a Tesla to the likelihood of a design/construction fault causing a fire with a Ford. These are dissimilar, mutually exclusive scenarios. What you are failing to take into account are the similar scenarios on each side. The proper thing to compare the Ford problem with is the design/construction faults that cause spontaneous fires in Tesla cars. This number is zero. The proper thing to compare the Tesla problem with is the likelihood that a Ford car will catch fire after a major accident. This number is non-zero.
If you want to conflate the two dissimilar issues, you need to take into account the likelihood that a Ford car will catch fire after a major accident. This is not being accounted for in the fires associated with the recall. The reason for this being that nobody considers it to be a design fault if a traditional car catches fire after a major accident. The same should apply to Tesla cars.