One fire could be an isolated case, a second fire may be a coincidence, but how should one explain a third Tesla Model S fire over the course of six weeks? We’re not sure, but the third Model S fire is real and happened on November 6 in Smyrna, Tennessee, U.S. – ironically the place where Nissan builds its Leaf electric car.
The incident was first reported on the Tesla Motors Club forum, where a user posted a picture of the burnt car. The story was picked up by the media and quickly led to a drop of 9 percent of Tesla’s share price by midday trading on Thursday. Tesla officials confirmed the fire to ValueWalk, with a company spokesperson saying the fire was triggered by a traffic accident and was not a spontaneous event.
“We have been in contact with the driver, who was not injured and believes the car saved his life. Our team is on its way to Tennessee to learn more about what happened. We will provide more information when we’re able to do so,” Tesla’s representative said.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the incident occurred on Interstate 24 in Smyrna when the electric car “ran over a tow hitch” that “hit the undercarriage of the vehicle causing an electrical fire.” The Model S’ lithium-ion battery pack is protected by an armor plating.
The first Tesla Model S fire happened early in October when the car collided with a large metal object on the road, resulting in a 7 percent drop of the company’s stock price. The second fire occurred at the end of October when a drunk driver in Mexico crashed through a roundabout, a wall and a tree. None of the drivers or passengers involved in the three fires were injured.
By Dan Mihalascu
Thanks to EH Deadwood for the tip!