Earlier this month, a Tesla Model S sitting in a Toronto garage ignited and caught on fire. The car was about four months old and was not plugged in to an electric socket, says a source. Fires are a touchy issue for the company, which reports Q4 2013 earnings on February 19th.
Last year, three vehicles caught fire over the course of six weeks . The company has previously pointed out in a government filing that the lithium ion battery cells “have been observed to catch fire or vent smoke and flame.” So the fires have raised concerns with consumers and caused a flurry in the media — so much so that CEO Elon Musk has addressed the coverage of these fires himself
This latest fire occurred after the owner came home from a drive and left the car parked in the garage. After a few moments, the owner’s fire detector went off and the fire department was called. Though the fire was intense, the firemen were able to put it out quickly. They also had to remove the other car in the garage, a Lexus, which was parked next to the Tesla.“Dealing with occasional fires is something that every car company has to do, as no vehicle is completely fireproof under all circumstances. What matters is the number of such incidents per car, and it is worth noting that gasoline car companies experience an average of five to ten times more fires per car than Tesla. Also extremely important is the fact that there has never been a serious injury or death in a Model S as a result of a fire or any other cause. The Model S continues to have the best safety track record of any vehicle in the world. In this particular case, we don’t yet know the precise cause, but have definitively determined that it did not originate in the battery, the charging system, the adapter or the electrical receptacle, as these components were untouched by the fire.” Shortly after the fire, seven Tesla employees visited the owner of the vehicle. The company also offered to take care of the damages and inconvenience caused by the fire, but the owner declined.
Check out more pictures of the fire below: