We’ve seen this a couple of times before, and despite how many times Tesla brings up the fact that these types of accidents occur more frequently in traditional internal combustion engined cars, there’s no denying that the risk of your Tesla battery going up in flames is not zero.
This time the accident happened during a test drive in southwest of France. Ars Technica UK reported:
Four people were in the car, including a Tesla employee; they all escaped safely before the car was “totally destroyed” within five minutes of the fire starting.
Tesla confirmed the incident and said that it’s working with French authorities to determine exactly what happened, “and will share [their] findings as soon as possible.” A Tesla official said: “Nobody was harmed. The vehicle provided warning and passengers were able to safely exit the vehicle.”
According to the driver of the vehicle, as reported by the French newspaper Sud Ouest, he was accelerating along a main road when a loud noise was heard. The vehicle reportedly popped up a warning message, and the Tesla employee then asked the driver to bring the vehicle to a halt. All four occupants proceeded to execute a full and proper disembarkation. “In less than a minute, the car was in flames and, in five minutes, it was totally destroyed,” the driver was quoted as saying.
— Cédric Faiche (@cedricfaiche) August 15, 2016
This all sounds eerily familiar to one of the first accidents of the Tesla. Back in Fall 2013, a Model S driver struck a metal object on the road, which punctured a hole through the 1/4 inch metal plate on the underside of the car, starting a fire in the battery compartment. According to the report released by Tesla Motors the fire never entered the passenger compartment.
Since these initial accidents occurred Tesla has went ahead with expanding the warranty to protect from fire damage while also upgrading newer cars with better battery armor plating and better safeguards. But as of this latest incident, bad things can still happen to these impressive cars.
(Source: Ars Technica UK)