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Tesla caught on fire in China, Tesla says third-party body shop is to blame

A Tesla Model S caught on fire while being in service at a Tesla-authorized body shop in Hangzhou, China last night.

In comments, Tesla says that the battery pack of the vehicle that started the fire was damaged and not properly handled by a third-party shop.

In the middle of last night, passersby reported smoke coming out of the body shop in Hangzhou.

The Hangzhou Fire Command Center responded on the scene at 1:45 a.m. and cut through one of the garage doors to get inside.

Local Chinese media reported (translated from Chinese):

After the firefighters broke the shutters, they found that the building was full of smoke and the visibility was very low. After searching, it was found that there were flames and black smoke under the hood of a Tesla. The meter box next to it was also on fire, and the firefighters immediately began to extinguish the fire.

The Tesla vehicle that was on fire was up on a lift and apparently being worked on before the shop closed for the night:

It reportedly took over an hour to extinguish the fire, and they reportedly had to close the body shop today.

There were several other Tesla vehicles on location.

We contacted Tesla about the situation, and the automaker said that the vehicle wasn’t at an official Tesla service center but at a third body shop. The company claims that the battery pack previously had “significant water damage” and it is blaming the shop for not having “properly handled” the pack.

Tesla claims that its vehicles are much less likely to catch on fire than the average gas-powered car.

In a new safety report released last month, Tesla says that there was a Tesla vehicle fire for every 170 million miles traveled between 2012 and 2018 in the US.

Electrek’s Take

Tesla is getting some bad publicity in China because of fires.

In April, a Tesla Model S was caught on video bursting into flames seemingly on its own when parked in a garage.

The fact that it was all caught on video made the incident viral, and several other electric cars also caught on fire over the last few months.

The government started putting pressure on electric automakers, and Tesla ended up releasing an update about the fire.

Now this new fire will certainly not help the situation.

No matter how often we repeat the stats that electric vehicles are less likely to catch on fire than gasoline cars, these incidents are a problem for EV adoptions because the nature of the fire is different.

Even though gasoline cars carry large tanks of flammable material, they have been around for so long that people just accept that.

EVs are relatively new, and when they catch on fire while charging or without an impact, it’s worrying people a lot more.

I think over time, people will start caring less and less about it.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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