A Tesla Model S vehicle in the Bay Area has caught on fire and burned down to a total loss yesterday.

The cause of the fire is unknown but it happened after the Model S was being towed to a garage.

Chris, the owner of the Tesla Model S, said that he had a flat tire and he had the vehicle towed to a tire shop in Los Gatos.

About 5 to 10 minutes later, he said that smoke started to come out of the vehicle.

“I heard a strange hissing sound. I came out and there was smoke everywhere. So the shop immediately called the fire department. And by the time they got here, the car was already on fire.”

Santa Clara County Fire Captain Bill Murphy added:

“The vehicle started off-gassing, making a loud hissing noise and producing some additional smoke. That’s an indication that there’s some type of combustion process happening in the batteries.”

They managed to control the fire, but it ended reigniting later on, which can be an issue with battery fires.

It happened twice earlier this year with Tesla battery packs. The battery pack of a Model X involved in the fatal accident in Mountain View earlier this year reignited days after catching on fire in the crash. A few months later, a Tesla vehicle was also found in a junkyard fire.

In the case of this new incident, a Tesla spokesperson said that they are investigating:

“We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with local first responders. We are glad to hear that everyone is safe.”

Here’s the report from CBS Bay Area:

Electrek’s Take

Fires following accidents are not really worrying because they are often inevitable after several crashes, regardless of the type of powertrain, electric or gas-powered, but it is different for fires without any crash.

It’s even more important to find the cause in those cases.

Earlier this year, the battery pack of a Tesla Model S caught on fire in Los Angeles seemingly on its own without any accident and Tesla said that it was an ‘extraordinarily unusual occurrence’. They are still investigating the cause.

Tesla is not the only electric automaker to deal with this issue. Earlier this month, a Jaguar I-PACE electric SUV caught on fire while parked in a driveway.

In this case, it’s interesting that it apparently happened after the vehicle was towed. They didn’t specify if it was towed on a flatbed, which is Tesla’s recommended way, or with wheels on the ground, which Tesla warns against.

Either way, it’s worth investigating.

But who knows what happened. Last time we reported about a Tesla catching on fire seemingly on its own, Tesla said that someone actually fired a bullet into the battery pack.

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