Tesla Investigating Cause of Model S Garage Fire


  • 2013 Tesla Model S Picture

    2013 Tesla Model S Picture

    Tesla Motors told Edmunds on Friday that it is investigating the cause of a Model S garage fire that occurred earlier this month in Toronto. | February 14, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • Tesla Motors told Edmunds on Friday that it is investigating the cause of a Model S garage fire that occurred earlier this month in Toronto.
  • "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," wrote Liz Jarvis-Shean, a Tesla spokeswoman, in response to an e-mailed query.
  • Federal safety regulators opened a probe last November into 13,108 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles.

PALO ALTO, California Tesla Motors told Edmunds on Friday that it is investigating the cause of a Model S garage fire that occurred earlier this month in Toronto.

"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," wrote Liz Jarvis-Shean, a Tesla spokeswoman, in response to an e-mailed query.

She added: "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."

Media reports said the fire happened in a Toronto garage after the car's owner returned from a drive. The reports said the Model S was not plugged in at the time. No further details about the fire are available at this point.

Federal safety regulators opened a probe last November into 13,108 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is aware of two incidents occurring on U.S. public highways in which the Model S caught fire after an undercarriage strike with metallic roadway debris.

"The resulting impact damage to the propulsion battery tray (baseplate) initiated thermal runaway," NHTSA said in its summary of the probe. "In each incident, the vehicle's battery monitoring system provided escalating visible and audible warnings, allowing the driver to execute a controlled stop and exit the vehicle before the battery emitted smoke and fire."

Edmunds says: It is not known when federal investigators will finish their review of the Tesla Model S or when the automaker will get some definitive word on the cause of the Toronto fire. So, questions still remain.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Marketplace

up2drive

Get Pre-Approved for a Loan


Car.com

Credit Problems?
We can help you get Financing!

ADVERTISEMENT