Tesla Model S caught on video bursting into flames seemingly on its own when parked

A Tesla vehicle has caught on fire seemingly without being involved in a crash. A Tesla Model S parked in a garage was filmed bursting into flames last night in Shanghai.

There’s no statistical evidence that shows electric cars catch on fire at a higher rate than gasoline vehicles. In fact, the opposite is true. But fires involving batteries can be more difficult to extinguish.

Furthermore, the causes of fire can be fairly different.

After a severe crash, there’s a higher chance of fire for any car regardless of the type of powertrain, but when a vehicle catches on fire seemingly on its own without being involved in a crash, it’s important to determine the cause.

Last week, we reported on a Tesla car catching on fire while being investigated for potentially being the cause of another fire in a garage.

Now we learn that earlier today in Shanghai, a Tesla Model S vehicle parked in an underground garage has caught on fire.

The incident was caught on a security camera:

It doesn’t look like the vehicle was charging at the time and the fire appears to have started around the battery pack, which is located at the bottom of the vehicle.

The fire completely destroyed the Tesla Model S and it also burnt the vehicles around it:

We reached out to Tesla about the incident and we will update if they decide to comment.

Update: Tesla’s official Weibo account responded:

Electrek’s Take

As previously stated, I think it’s important to look into instances of electric vehicles catching on fire seemingly on their own – without a crash.

We are often quick to defend Tesla fires by saying that there’s no statistical evidence that shows electric cars catch on fire at a higher rate than gasoline vehicles, but if a car is catching fire on its own, it’s a completely different than catching fire after a crash.

Sure, Luxury ICE cars catch on fire quite often and sometimes without apparant cause. A google search will show all the major manufacturers have this issue:

In this case, it is quite worrying if the battery indeed burst into flame on its own like that.

However, I wouldn’t discard arson just yet because it almost like something exploded underneath the vehicle, but it that something could also just be the battery pack. The car could have also sustained damage after running over debris on the ground which could have punctured the battery encasement.

Either way, Tesla should investigate and try to get to the bottom of it.

It is important to remember however that this happens to ICE cars in greater numbers than BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles). Here’s a breakdown from Reddit:

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