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Why are Tesla Model S Cars Catching on Fire?

The Tesla Model S is one of the most recognizable cars in the world today. The Model S is a fully electric car from Tesla Motors. It is one of the forerunners in the zero-emission revolution that is taking over the automotive world today. While the Model S is synonymous for design, value, technology and finesse, it has courted controversy as of late, due to a series of Model S cars catching fire and being gutted.

One of the earliest fire accidents on the Model S was reported in October 2013. The car caught on fire due to debris impact from the road. The battery pack modules that sits underneath the car was struck by a large piece of metal and the car caught fire. A 3-inch diameter hole was later found in the battery module cover. A second fire was reported in 2013 in Mexico when a Model S being driven at high speed through a roundabout crashed through a wall and into a tree.



A third Model S caught on fire in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in November of 2013 after hitting a tow hitch on the roadway and causing damage beneath the vehicle. After the incident, Tesla Motors introduced a new software update for Model S cars to increase its ground clearance when driving at highway speeds, and extended its warranty to cover fire damage.

While these incidents have occurred due to debris strikes and driving accidents which may have caused damage to the battery module, Model S cars have reportedly caught fire even when the car was stationary.

A fourth incident was reported in Irvine, California where a Tesla Model S parked in the garage caught on fire. The car was plugged in and charging. Investigation found that the fire appeared to have originated at the wall connection where the Tesla charging equipment was plugged in. Tesla Motors updated the firmware of the Model S to reduce charging current when power fluctuations were detected. The standard wall adapters were replaced with a new unit containing a thermal fuse.



A fifth incident was reported from Toronto, Canada, where a Tesla Model S parked in a garage caught on fire. The car was not plugged in and charging when the incident occurred. According to the latest update, the cause of the fire is still unknown.

The sixth and the latest incident was reported in January 2016 in Norway. A Tesla Model S charging at a Tesla Supercharger station caught on fire and was gutted. The cause of the fire is still unknown and Tesla Motors is conducting its own investigation.

Don’t Miss: Tesla Model 3 Unveiled, Priced from $35,000 & Release in 2017 – All You Need to Know!

Continue reading to find out more about these incidents.

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About Suhas S

Motorcyclist, Traveler, Aerospace Engineer and your friendly neighborhood Batman. Suhas has been meandering on two wheels since 2008. His love for automobiles, aeroplanes and his passion for travel has brought him here. He's a RC plane hobbyist currently building a Supermarine Spitfire and the Associate Editor at TheMotorLife

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