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Tesla says someone fired a bullet into battery pack of a Model S that caught on fire

Here’s a crazy Tesla story for you this Sunday: we just learned about the case of a Tesla vehicle fire in which the owner claimed his brand new Model S caught on fire on its own while he was driving it back home after taking delivery, but Tesla says that someone fired a bullet into the battery pack from the passenger cabin.

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Tesla Model S caught fire in Yorkshire, Tesla says cause is due to a crash 2 months before the fire

Tesla has been under scrutiny before over several instances of vehicles catching on fire. The media made a big deal out of it despite the fact that almost every instance happened after a high-speed accident. Statistics showed that Tesla’s vehicles caught fire significantly less often than the national average and NHTSA eventually conducted an investigation and found no problem.

But on other (rarer) occasions, Tesla’s vehicles caught fire without being involved in an impact, like a Model S catching on fire during a test drive event in France and another one in Norway burned down while Supercharging.

We now learn of another fire that is somewhat in-between the two types of fires.

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Behind the scene look at how firefighters disable a Tesla battery while extinguishing a Model S fire

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Last week, a 62-year-old Tesla Model S owner drove into a sign announcing a construction site on the highway in Gratkorn, Austria. The sedan continued traveling down the highway for ~200 meters before coming to a stop and bursting into flames, according to local media reports (German).

Fortunately, the driver was reportedly able to get out OK. Overall a fairly banal accident, but the fire department shared a few interesting pictures of their attempt at extinguishing the fire and securing the vehicle.

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Tesla says Model S fire in France was due to ‘electrical connection improperly tightened’ by a human instead of robots

tesla fire france

Last month, we reported on a Tesla Model S catching on fire during a test drive event in France. All 3 occupants, a couple that was test driving the car and a Tesla employee, were able to exit in time thanks to the vehicle sending out an alert warning them of a problem.

At the time, it wasn’t clear what was the problem in question, but Tesla quickly launched an investigation and now they think they found the issue.

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Tesla driver dies in a Model S after hitting a tree, battery caught fire, Tesla launches an investigation

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Early this morning in Baarn in the Netherlands, a 53-year old Tesla Model S driver tragically died in a crash. His Model S left the road and hit a tree at high speed. The vehicle caught on fire and the driver was reportedly dead by the time the firefighters were on the scene.

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Tesla Model S catches on fire during a test drive in France

tesla fire france

As part of its ‘Electric Road Trip’ tour for the summer, Tesla stopped in Biarritz, France to promote Model S and Model X over the weekend.

During a test drive in a Model S 90D, the vehicle suddenly made a loud noise and sent a visual alert on the dashboard stating that there was a problem with “charging”. The Tesla employee giving the test drive made the driver park the car on the side of the road and all three (the driver, the Tesla employee and another passenger) exited the vehicle.

The Tesla Model S caught on fire only a moment later (pictured above), according to witnesses.

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Tesla will update the Model S software for safer charging following a Supercharger fire

Model S burned down norway

Currently, a Model S has a 1 in 2.5 million chance of burning down while charging at a Tesla Supercharger but that’s really not something Tesla owners need to worry about. This statistic is simply based on the fact that Superchargers have been used 2.5 million times with only one report of a fire earlier this year in Norway. Though it was quite a significant fire, burning the car to the ground,  no one fortunately was injured.

We have been following the investigations, which have not been very fruitful – likely due to the condition of the vehicle, but the authorities believe that the fire originated “inside the vehicle” and not from the Supercharger itself.

Today Tesla revealed that it concluded its own investigation and confirms that the cause of the fire was a short-circuit in the car and though the automaker doesn’t know why the short-circuit happened, and again the odds of another fire are extremely low, it will nonetheless push a software update to its fleet to “provide extra security during charging”.

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