Recent Tesla Model S Fire Prompts Renewed Concern

Posted on October 30, 2013

Another incident where a Tesla Model S was involved in an accident and promptly caught fire has sparked renewed concerns about the safety of these vehicles.  A new report takes a look at the most recent fire as well as what the reaction has been to it, with the author wondering whether an overreaction is taking place.

Not long ago, a similar incident unfurled in Seattle, when a Model S struck a piece of debris and caught fire.  No one was killed in that crash.  This latest event took place in Merida, Mexico.  Once again, the automobile was involved in an accident and the vehicle was set ablaze.  Also similar to the first crash, the people involved were able to escape with their lives intact.

But while these incidents are certainly disconcerting, the author of the Chicago Tribune article linked to above notes that things could have been worse, considering the speed and the impact the vehicle had with a wall and a tree.  He points out that the panic these fires seem to have generated is not warranted, especially in light of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s finding that the initial fire was not due to a defect.

Still, many worry about the propensity of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars to catch fire, and even the author admits additional testing should be carried out.

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