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Tesla Model S Bursts into Flames While Charging

Horn Wright, LLP

A Norwegian Tesla Model S owner got a terrible surprise one evening when his luxury electric vehicle caught fire at a charging station. Within minutes, the entire vehicle was completely ablaze.

Firefighters were immediately called to the scene, but because the vehicle was electric, they could not use regular water to put out the blaze. The only way to extinguish an electric car fire, apparently, is to use water with a copper material, but since this is too expensive for fire departments, responders resolved to just let the car burn out on its own while periodically spraying it down with foam. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

According to one of the firefighters who responded to the supercharging station, electric vehicle fires release large quantities of fluorine gas, making breathing the smoke extremely dangerous. When an electric vehicle burns, the toxic gases it emits are far more deadly than a normal car.

Tesla Model S vehicles have been involved in at least four documented fires over the past few years related to crashes or charges. While CEO Elon Musk has attempted to assuage public fears by claiming that a car fire is a rare and unlikely event, public confidence in the brand may be waning. Consumer Reports has revoked its endorsement of the vehicle, and Tesla has yet to address the potential issue with the vehicle’s battery pack.

The NHTSA has been looking into whether high-voltage lithium ion batteries pose a potential safety hazard to consumers.

Click here to view images of the car fire in Norway.

Horn Wright, LLP handles a variety of product liability cases in New York and New Jersey. If you have suffered losses as a result of a car system failure, call us at (516) 714-5975 to consult a New York attorney.