We now have more details on the Tesla Model 3 crash that resulted in explosions in Moscow last weekend. Autopilot was indeed activated during the crash and it did apply the brakes a second before the collision.

Last weekend, we reported on a Tesla Model 3 that caught on fire and exploded after a crash with a tow truck while reportedly driving on Autopilot in Moscow.

Early reports from Russian media stated that the car was a Model S, but it was actually a Model 3 — making it one of the rare Model 3 vehicles to have caught on fire.

Local media also reported that the driver, Alexey Tretyakov, and his two children inside the car were severely injured.

Tretyakov talked to Russian EV advocate Igor Antarov and said that he suffered a broken leg and the children only had bruises. They were all able to exit the vehicle before it caught on fire.

The driver also confirmed previous reports that the vehicle was on Autopilot. He stated that he wasn’t paying attention at the time of the crash and didn’t see the tow truck before the crash.

A surveillance video actually captured the accident, albeit in poor quality, and it shows that the brakes were applied a fraction of a second before the crash:

Tretyakov says that he doesn’t blame Autopilot or Tesla for the accident.

Tesla says that drivers are always responsible to pay attention at all times and be ready to take control when using Autopilot.

Electrek’s Take

This accident was a lot less severe than I thought it was based on the aftermath and the video of the Model 3 engulfed in a fire and exploding several times.

Obviously, it was at a somewhat high speed, apparently 62 mph (100 km/h), so it’s going to be a big impact no matter what, but it’s still surprising.

Also, it makes it one of the first Model 3 fires.

At this point, there have been dozens of Model S fires, but I’ve heard of only two Model 3 fires to date. This one being one of them.

That’s despite the fact that there are now more Model 3 vehicles on the road than Model S vehicles — although Model S vehicles have been on the road for a longer period of time.

I am sure Tesla would like to investigate the fire, but the company is not officially in Russia. Tretyakov probably had to import the vehicle himself or through a company. It will probably make things a little more complicated for Tesla to get to the bottom of this.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

About the Author