Here’s a crazy Tesla story for you this Sunday: we just learned about the case of a Tesla vehicle fire in which the owner claimed his brand new Model S caught on fire on its own while he was driving it back home after taking delivery, but Tesla says that someone fired a bullet into the battery pack from the passenger cabin. Expand Expanding Close
Tesla has been under scrutiny before over several instances of vehicles catching on fire. The media made a big deal out of it despite the fact that almost every instance happened after a high-speed accident. Statistics showed that Tesla’s vehicles caught fire significantly less often than the national average and NHTSA eventually conducted an investigation and found no problem.
Last week, a 62-year-old Tesla Model S owner drove into a sign announcing a construction site on the highway in Gratkorn, Austria. The sedan continued traveling down the highway for ~200 meters before coming to a stop and bursting into flames, according to local media reports (German).
Fortunately, the driver was reportedly able to get out OK. Overall a fairly banal accident, but the fire department shared a few interesting pictures of their attempt at extinguishing the fire and securing the vehicle. Expand Expanding Close
Early this morning in Baarn in the Netherlands, a 53-year old Tesla Model S driver tragically died in a crash. His Model S left the road and hit a tree at high speed. The vehicle caught on fire and the driver was reportedly dead by the time the firefighters were on the scene. Expand Expanding Close
During a test drive in a Model S 90D, the vehicle suddenly made a loud noise and sent a visual alert on the dashboard stating that there was a problem with “charging”. The Tesla employee giving the test drive made the driver park the car on the side of the road and all three (the driver, the Tesla employee and another passenger) exited the vehicle.
The Tesla Model S caught on fire only a moment later (pictured above), according to witnesses. Expand Expanding Close
Currently, a Model S has a 1 in 2.5 million chance of burning down while charging at a Tesla Supercharger but that’s really not something Tesla owners need to worry about. This statistic is simply based on the fact that Superchargers have been used 2.5 million times with only one report of a fire earlier this year in Norway. Though it was quite a significant fire, burning the car to the ground, no one fortunately was injured.
Today Tesla revealed that it concluded its own investigation and confirms that the cause of the fire was a short-circuit in the car and though the automaker doesn’t know why the short-circuit happened, and again the odds of another fire are extremely low, it will nonetheless push a software update to its fleet to “provide extra security during charging”. Expand Expanding Close