Tesla top-of-range car caught fire while owner was driving, lawyer says

Tesla Inc.’s new Model S Plaid electric car is seen in flames in Pennsylvania, US, in this handout photo provided to Reuters on July 2, 2021. According to a lawyer for the driver, the car caught fire when the owner was driving it three days after delivery on Tuesday. Handout via Geragos and Geragos / Reuters

BERKLEY, Calif., July 1 (Reuters) – The Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) Model S Plaid electric vehicle burst into flames on Tuesday when the owner was driving, just three days after the $129,900, top-of-the-road, The range car was delivered after its June launch, a lawyer for the driver told Reuters.

Mark Geragos of Geragos and Geragos said that the driver, identified as an “executive entrepreneur”, was initially not able to exit the car because its electronic door system had failed, forcing the driver to “open it”. to use force”. on Friday.

The car continued to move for about 35 feet to 40 feet (11 to 12 m) before turning into a “fireball” in a residential area near the owner’s Pennsylvania home.

“It was a harrowing and frightening experience,” Geragos said.

“It’s a brand new model. We’re doing an investigation. We’re calling for the S Plaid to be off the ground until we get to the bottom of it,” he said.

Tesla did not immediately comment when contacted by Reuters.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk touted the performance version of its Model S sedan as “faster than any Porsche, safer than any Volvo” at a launch event at the automaker’s factory in Fremont, California, last month. read more

Earlier in April, he said that the new Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle had a new battery pack.

“It took a lot of development to make sure the new S/X’s batteries are safe,” Musk said on a conference call addressing the production delays. “There were more challenges than expected in developing the new version.”

Local fire officials said in a now-deleted Facebook post that “a Tesla was on fire” and that they “cooled the battery to extinguish it completely”.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it is “in contact with relevant agencies and the manufacturer to gather information about the incident”.

“If data or investigations reveal a defect or an inherent risk to security exists, NHTSA will take appropriate action to protect the public,” the federal security agency said.

Reporting by Hyunju Jin and David Shepardson; Editing by Christopher Cushing

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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