This Is How You Extinguish A Burning Tesla Model S

For all the benefits electric vehicles offer, they do have some drawbacks, particularly for firefighters.

Unlike petrol and diesel-powered vehicles, it is much harder to safely extinguish the flames of an EV, forcing automakers, like Tesla, to create emergency response guides in case their cars catch fire.

Earlier this week, Tesla’s guide was put to the test when a Tesla Model S crashed and caught fire in Austria’s Tyrol region. In total, the effort required 35 people and five vehicles before the blaze was safely contained and extinguished.

In a press release, the volunteer firefighting organization said stopping the inferno was difficult.

“The firefighting – which could only be carried out under severe respiratory protection – was difficult because the vehicle was repeatedly on fire. It was only after cutting the power supply from the high-performance batteries that it was possible to finally fight the fire. Since lithium batteries are used, the manufacturer recommends that the vehicle be parked under “quarantine” for 48 hours, so that no new fire can break out.”

One important part of tackling a burning Tesla is to cut the Fire Responder Disconnect Point. This cable can be accessed either through the trunk or on the rear pillar and disables the high voltage system and airbags.


  • europeon

    That’s a weird crash. Did the autopilot fail?

    • Benjamin B.

      driver/user error

      • Rocc E. Normyss

        See reply below.

        • Status

          You’re always wrong.

  • Knotmyrealname

    That’ll buff right out.

  • Benjamin B.

    Combustion-powered vehicles are more likely to catch on fire.

    • Rocc E. Normyss

      Thanks for the fan-boy reply, Elon…. I mean ‘Benjamin’.

    • TheBelltower

      True. But it’s a different process to extinguish EVs versus gas vehicles.

    • brn

      It’s different.

      When using a different technology to power a car, things change. Charging changes. Maintenance changes. Safety changes. We’ve come a long way in how we address the change, but we also have a long way to go. ICE vehicles have had a lot more time to address these issues. Electric is coming along.

  • Blade t

    Is this covered under warranty ?….lol

  • Rocc E. Normyss

    Seems like we’ve been hearing about burning Teslas for years now.

    • That’s becasue anytime one burns it’s global news,while right now there are three burning ICE cars on L.A. freeways. This is literally a daily event here, but of course you never hear about it, because it happens ALL the time.

      • LeStori

        There are around 250-260 million vehicles in the USA. Around 550,000 of them are EV. For every EV there is over 460 ICEV on the road. So surprise, surprise, the likelihood of you seeing an ICEV on fire is a lot higher.
        In 2016 alone, around 17.5 million Vehicles were sold in the USA. 159,000 EVs hit the road.

        • Bill O

          Tesla fires are reported like airliner crashes. Statistically airliners travel more miles incident free than any other form of transportation but a lot of people are afraid of flying because of all the news coverage the occasional accident gets.

          The National Fire Protection Association found that about 90 cars catch fire for every 1 billion miles driven in the United States. Over the first billion miles driven by Teslas (mid-2015), there were a grand total of three Tesla fires and one that had an unknown origin that involved a Tesla (a garage where a Model S was parked burned down in Ontario, Canada and the source was never determined).

          The Tesla fleet hit 4 billion miles in March 2017 and there still have been less than 90 fires. I’ve heard of maybe 10 and I follow Tesla news. Most happened in horrific accidents that would have set an ICE on fire too like the guy plowing into a large tree at 90 mph in the Netherlands or the crash on a street in Indianapolis going around 100 mph.

          Things get reported on the news outside local areas because they are uncommon. The US has 17 car fires on average every hour. Very few even make the local news because they aren’t rare.

    • TheBelltower

      In severe crashes, just like conventional vehicles. But not nearly as often.

  • Aporto

    I don’t understand… It seems like the Tesla crashed into the concrete barrier. (like in the video at 1:56) But why was there a concrete barrier on the road ?

  • 35 firefighters and that bigass truck just for 1 tesla??? Wonder whatll happen if the tesla gigafactory catches fire.

    • Tom

      …. sorry, but: Do you have any clue of rescue and fire fighting operations?!

    • TheHake

      End of the world, mate!


    fire on fully electric vehicle? battery went too flat?

  • bxniels0

    Is there a safety reason why the Fire Responder Disconnect Point doesn’t automatically disengage in an accident?

  • Bash

    Hope no one got hurt.

  • Bash

    So when will the driver get a new Tesla. just saying.

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