After Tesla’s latest problem involving a fatal crash while in autopilot mode, Elon Musk may have to return to a more familiar problem plaguing his vehicles: spontaneous combustion.
According to Electek, as part of its ‘Electric Road Trip’ tour for the summer, Tesla stopped in Biarritz, France to show off the Model S and Model X over the weekend. During a test drive in a Model S 90D, the vehicle suddenly sent a visual alert on the dashboard stating that there was a problem with “charging”. The Tesla employee giving the test drive made the driver park the car on the side of the road and all three (the driver, the Tesla employee and another passenger) exited the vehicle.
The Tesla Model S burst into flames only a second later (pictured above), according to witnesses. Firefighters arrived quickly on the scene to control the fire, but the vehicle was completely destroyed. The result was reportedly similar to the remains of the Model S that caught fire while Supercharging in Norway earlier this year.
While the traditional Tesla defense applies, namely that while electric vehicle fires are widely reported, there’s no evidence that there are any more frequent than gas-powered car fires, what is particularly interesting here – though it could change since the story is still developing – is that previous instances of Tesla vehicles catching fire happened after severe impacts, especially after debris on the road punctured the battery pack at high-speed.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. A Tesla spokesperson sent Electrek the following statement:
“We are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation. The passengers are all unharmed. They were able to safely exit the vehicle before the incident occurred.“
Naturally, the story has yet to hit the government sanctioned mainstream news.
I think I will just keep driving my car by myself thank you. At least for as long as the goobermint allows me to.