Tesla investigates after flaming vehicle incident

The Tesla that apparently caught fire in LA.

Tesla faces more bad news on the eve of the electric vehicle maker's Auckland showroom opening.

Mary McCormack tweeted a video of her husband's Tesla in flames (see clip below).

The West Wing star says there was "no accident." The vehicle caught fire "out of the blue."

She later tweeted that the car was "barely moving in traffic" and not in auto-pilot mode. Tesla had yet to get in contact.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze. No one was hurt but it's publicity the EV maker does not need when it's already grappling with controversy over another accident that potentially involved its assisted-driving technology.

Tesla told US network ABC News, "We offer our support to local authorities and are glad our customer is safe. This is an extraordinarily unusual occurrence, and we are investigating the incident to find out what happened."

The company says its EVs are less likely to catch fire than petrol-powered cars.

After making do with a pop-up presence over the past 18 months, Tesla is putting the finishing touches on its first New Zealand showroom and service centre. Despite its limited presence, the company is already leading the pack in local pure-EV sales, and could get a further boost from Auckland's 10% petrol tax.

The company's shares rose last week after it announced another big loss and plans to lay off 9% of its global workforce, but also progress in chipping away at its massive backlog of orders as production increased. Founder Elon Musk says the company is on track to turn a profit in the third or fourth quarter.


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17 Comments & Questions

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Petrol cars also catch on fire. The only question is which is more likely to catch on fire.

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Agreed.Nassim taleb weighed into this debate on twitter saying there are roughly 150000 car fires a year in the USA.

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It would be interesting to see just what was the cause of that fire, but alas I would think that we will never know due this story becoming very old and forgotten about by the time the cause is known. The media doesn't seem to follow-up on old stories anymore due to it's rush to keep us entertained with ever new sensational stories to fill the void.

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What the heck was that, what was burning like a flame thrower??

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Yup, tremendously bad timing around Elon Musk's flame-thrower PR stunt for his latest company.

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Ha, yes quite. Hadn't thought of that connection but you are right, perhaps this particular Tesla was already armed, and dangerous!

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Here's one closer to home... doesn't seem to have changed Ford sales much...

https://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/96835074/family-terrified-after-recalle...

All sorts of stuff catches on fire! Forget about reasons not to buy a Tesla, here's a good reason never to go to sleep!!
https://io9.gizmodo.com/5855700/10-cases-of-spontaneous-human-combustion...

Happy Monday! :)

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It shakes confidence and takes time to rebuild it.
The fire could the result of something the owners did rather than the car itself.
We may never know.

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Hey, maybe, that model was meant for the South African market? You know, the anti-carjacking option.

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Looks like a real car at Meremere
Do they come with smoke alarms?

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My hubby reckons "you ain't seen nuthin' yet". And he would know, being a tow-truck owner. He reckons the rubber will really hit the road once the 2 or 3 year old ones come on the market..... If they last that long :(

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Likelihood of fire vs petrol, dunno? However in the event that a Lithium Ion battery cell is damaged it may short and catch fire, sequentially that may damage the adjoining cell and so on - triggering a chain reaction of failure and fires. These aren't things you douse with water and foam, drain the tank and shove in a yard like a petrol car... these things could catch fire for days or weeks afterwards

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Tesla cars have been on the road for many many years now. These incidents are rare and the battery life after 200,000 is still significant. There are a number of well published articles on the subject, suggesting your hubbies concern is unfounded.

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It isn't a fire; it's the prototype for the rocket propulsion option on the yet-to-be-released Tesla Roadster.

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I saw that but I wasn't sure if he was being serious. I did check it wasn't @boredelonmusk

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Gosh, that's so amazing. I once saw exactly the same thing happen to a new Mercedes at the traffic lights in downtown Auckland.

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Years ago I drove on the motorway in yhe outh of the Nethrlands when I saw
a brand new Ferrari burning at the side of the road. The owner told he had taken delivery of the brand new car 20 minutes earlier.
There are people who try to taint the Tesla brand. Jealousy ?

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