Tesla Model S Catches Fire, Twice
Dec. 20, 2018—A new Tesla Model S ignited in Santa Clara, Calif., after a Saratoga man tried to fix his flat tire, ABC 7 News reports. The vehicle owner, who wishes to be unnamed, put 1,200 miles on the three-month-old vehicle.
The owner explained he was driving along Highway 17 when a sensor went off, alerting him about a quick drop in tire pressure.
"Then, it said again it was dropping to 20. So then I pulled off," he told ABC 7 News.
The owner took the vehicle to Los Gatos Tire and Auto Repair lot moments before the fire took place.
"I go in there, doing the paperwork and I start hearing a funny hissing sound," the owner said. "I thought, oh, it must be something going on in the shop next door."
Following the sound, came smoke and the spark, ABC 7 News reports.
The Santa Clara County Fire was called around 2 p.m., ABC 7 News reports, and the crew was noticed the potential for reigniting.
According to ABC 7 News, the crew spent nearly six hours waiting for the battery to cool down.
"Shortly after that, however, it was noticed that the vehicle was off-gassing," Capt. Bill Murphy said to ABC 7 News. "Which is an indication that heat or a lot of energy built up in the battery still."
Tesla released this statement to ABC 7 News, responding to Tuesday's incident: "We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with local first responders. We are glad to hear that everyone is safe."
Santa Clara County Fire explained to ABC 7 News that the vehicles run on electricity stored in battery packs in the floor of the vehicle.
"We train for vehicle fires, absolutely. Electric vehicles provide a slightly different component to that," Captain Murphy said to ABC 7 News. "In this case, the batteries just require a little bit different process for us to make sure the car's safe."
The Model S owner told ABC 7 News, this is the last Tesla his family will own.
"If this had been in the house, and we were on vacation, and this thing caught fire in the garage, the whole house could go under," he said to ABC 7 News.
Santa Clara County firefighters said to ABC 7 News that they will be stationing crews with the car all night to put out any more fires that may erupt.