Tesla Model S catches fire, owner exits unharmed

| October 15, 2013

(Photo: Tesla)

(Photo: Tesla Motors)

Here on the Roadologist blog, we’ve shared plenty of stories about fires, including one about a roadside fire caused by cutting corners, another about a 42 million-tire pile that burned for an entire month and a another story about a firefighter who lit up his BMW.

Well, if those stories aren’t hot enough for you, keep reading.

Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the company’s blog to describe an incident in which a Tesla Model S caught fire as the result of a traffic accident.

The most notable part of Musk’s post is this description: “The Model S owner was nonetheless able to exit the highway as instructed by the onboard alert system, bring the car to a stop and depart the vehicle without injury.”

Musk notes that the car struck a large metal object, which pierced the car with 25 tons of force and left a 3-inch-diameter hole in the 1/4-inch armor plate beneath the vehicle. The impact caused a fire in the lithium-ion battery.

Internal firewalls in the battery pack contained the fire to the front of the car, while vents in the battery allowed smoke and flames to leave the car.

“At no point did fire enter the passenger compartment,” Musk writes.

The Tesla Model S earned top ratings from Consumer Reports in May for features like technology mileage and space.

Now I guess they should add safety to that list.

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