A fire started around the battery pack while the parked car was not under charge.

Since 2013 there have been at least 14 instances of Tesla cars catching fire, the majority occurring after a crash. On April 21, late Sunday evening Shanghai local time, users of Weibo, the Chinese social media app equivalent to Twitter, widely shared a video showing a Tesla Model S catching fire spontaneously. We look forward to hearing what Tesla’s investigation results are.

Burning Tesla’s Are Becoming More Commonplace

Tesla’s lithium-ion batteries have been known to catch fire on their own or when damaged in an accident. The video, apparently taken from a surveillance camera, shows a Tesla Model S, parked in Shanghai along a line of cars, which starts emitting smoke from underneath and burst into flames seconds later. It doesn’t look like the vehicle was charging at the time and the fire appears to have started around the battery pack. A video of the aftermath showed a sequence of three cars wholly destroyed.

Regardless of the type of powertrain, after a severe crash there’s a higher chance of fire for any car. When a vehicle self-combusted without being involved in an accident, it’s crucial to determine the cause.

In response to the video, Tesla published a statement on Weibo, saying: “After learning about the incident in Shanghai, we dispatched a team to the scene last night as soon as possible. We are actively liaising with the relevant departments and cooperating with the verification of the situation. According to the current information, there were no casualties.”

No statistical evidence shows EVs catch on fire at a higher rate than gasoline vehicles. This may be a big problem for Tesla if the battery burst into flame on its own. Tesla needs to investigate and find a reason and a solution. We look forward to hearing what Tesla’s investigation results are.

Further Reading

Read also Tesla Model S crashes and burns; reportedly non-functioning door handles fatally trap the driver inside.

Model S lights up in Shanghai. Tesla said that investigations are already started. Exterior
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2017 Tesla Model S

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S

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