Tesla investigates car explosion in Shanghai

by Samuel Abasi Posted on April 22nd, 2019

Tesla said it is investigating a video on Chinese social media that appears to show one of its vehicles bursting into flames in Shanghai. In a statement, the carmaker said it had sent a team to investigate the matter, and that there were no reported casualties.

The video showed a stationary car erupting into flames in a parking lot.

Tesla did not confirm the car model but social media identified it as Model S.

“After learning about the incident in Shanghai, we immediately sent the team to the scene last night,” according to a translation of a Tesla statement posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

“We are actively contacting relevant departments and supporting the verification. According to current information, there are no casualties.”

The video showed smoke rising from a parked, white vehicle and seconds later it bursts into flames.

The time stamp on the video shows the incident happened on Sunday night, local time (Sunday morning GMT).

Previous incidents involving Tesla vehicles catching on fire seem to have happened while the cars were moving.

In 2018, a Tesla car driven by British TV director Michael Morris burst into flames, following another such incident involving a Model S model in France in 2016.

A series of fires involving Tesla Model S cars took place in 2013.

The company is building its first overseas car factory in Shanghai to ramp up annual production, tapping into the world’s biggest auto market and avoiding some of the impact of Sino-US trade tensions.

Tesla has previously said that petrol-powered cars are 10 times more likely to catch fire than those powered by electric batteries, based on its fleet of over 500,000 vehicles which have driven more than 10 billion miles.

The most popular hashtags on Weibo on Monday is “Tesla self-ignites”, racking up over 20 million clicks. Some users urged Tesla to quickly find the cause, whereas others speculated over the impact to the value of Tesla cars currently on the road.

A user also said “One lesson I learnt from the Shanghai self-exploding Tesla: Don’t park your car next to a Tesla”

The CCTV video comes as Tesla is preparing to unveil its “full self-driving” tech at a conference in Palo Alto, California, on Monday.

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