Elon Musk’s electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is reportedly investigating a recent video showing a Tesla Model S parked in a Chinese parking garage exploding into a fireball.
Reuters reports that Elon Musk’s electric car manufacturer Tesla is investigating a video that spread across Chinese social media which appears to show a Model S vehicle exploding into flames while parked. The video first spread across Chinese social media website Weibo. In the video, the Model S emits smoke then bursts into flames, a few moments later a video which claims to be the aftermath of the blast shows three cars destroyed.
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Weibo users allege that the video was taken in Shanghai but so far these claims are unconfirmed. The cause of the explosion is still unknown. In a statement Tesla claimed to have sent a team to investigate the issue: “We immediately sent a team onsite and we’re supporting local authorities to establish the facts. From what we know now, no one was harmed.”
Since 2013, there have been at least 14 examples of Tesla vehicles bursting into flames, most of these occurred following a crash of some sort. Tesla has claimed that its vehicles are ten times less likely to experience a fire than a petrol-fueled vehicle based on its 500,000 vehicle fleet with more than 10 billion driven miles.
Alan Kang at LMC Automotive commented on Tesla’s issues stating: “Tesla had fire incidents before, but they didn’t have a big impact on its reputation in China. Since its consumer base is not particularly conservative, and China is pushing the electric vehicle market, if this incident is just accidental, it will not have a big impact on Tesla.”
“Tesla self-ignites” became one of the most popular hashtags on Weibo with 20 million clicks following the video spreading across the platform. “One lesson I learned from the Shanghai self-exploding Tesla: Don’t park your car next to a Tesla,” said one commentator.