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Model S fire?

Appears to have been in an accident. Wonder what caught fire. Something flammable in the frunk?

Notes on the video.

  • Flammable substance on the ground in front of the car. If it is electrolyte, how did that much of it get so far out front? Cells are small and isolated, right?
  • At 14 seconds, there is a small explosion you can see and hear that appears to originate on or near the ground in front of the car. It happens right after the commentator says "brand new car".

citron made it up... they wanted to get out of their short positions. burning one 100K tesla could have saved their millions :-)

Hmm... after weeks of reading about this car and visiting a Tesla showroom last week I was just getting ready to pull the trigger on buying but I think I will wait to see what the real cause of this fire was. It is a concern. The other stuff, GPS, camber, etc I was not that concerned about.

@WayneH - If waiting makes you feel better, sure.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. There are lots of car fires every day, and there's no indication that this was anything other than an incident that could have happened to any car.

Quite the opposite, in fact. The fire was isolated to the front of the car. If the battery pack had been involved in a significant way* things would have been much more...spectacular.

*Which would require all of Tesla's clever design in mitigating such things to have failed.

I would rather hit whatever that object was with a Model S and have it's battery pack stay even partially intact as opposed to an ICE with a gas tank where the fuel can spread and burn over a much wider area, not to mention explode.

We just had 5 teens killed in a fiery car crash. While they were speeding and possibly drinking, it appears the fire that resulted may have been the cause of death. One girl did survive after being pulled "from the burning wreckage".

83 million miles driven in the Model S and this is the 1st fire. That is an oustanding fact. I bet that ratio is far better than ICE cars.

I would still go with my plan to purchase a Model S unless someone can point to me any ICE car that do not carry a gasoline tank with it.

iIt looks like electrical arcing at the front of the vehicle. There are battery disconnects near the firewall in the frunk. it is possible the collision with the unidentified metallic object caused a sever short circuit at the battery high voltage cables in or near the frunk.The plastic liner and carpeting in the frunk may have ignited from the heating of the shorted high voltage cables causing the flames and smoke. The subsequent explosion maybe the shorted cables being burned clean, reopened causing the flash in the video.

I wondered how the kid in the video knew it was a new car too. Was impressed the kid even knew it was a Tesla and made certain to say it in the video - seemed a little staged. I have to wonder if this video is even legit? The sources can't really be substantiated and I have not found an "official" statement by Tesla -- on this website. I have read so many articles over the last months where these journalists facts are totally wrong on Tesla - so I am not going to give them credit so easily for having their facts straight on this one.
Also it's crossed my mind that someone shorted/put the stock and posted a phoney video to make a ton of money. I'd like to know what was in the frunk too.

shure, it can be a usual accident with fire and it is the first bla bla bla.. but

- Tesla did a lot of testing *****
-what was the metal object? Photo?
-what was in the frunk?

If the story grows out to main media, tesla with return with rebuilding the accidentsituation or some spin, but if it just dissappears, I'll assume, it is a fake.

could be

@jen Agreed. Whether it's real, fake, happened, did not happen, what happened and why....I'm sure Tesla will make an official statement. Let's wait for that before drawing any conclusions.

I read Tesla's press release on the large object in the roadway, but the Washington Highway patrol officer said, there was no object in the roadway. He's obviously lying, because the Tesla guys in Palo Alto, know exactly what happened. The Tesla guys, also told the driver to exit the car, they thought he might wait until the fire department arrived.

That video was amazing. The driver must having been carrying a couple full 5 gallon gasoline containers.

I see BMW's, Mercedes' and Porsche's burning like this all the time, on the side of the expressway.

I'm buying more stock tomorrow, it's a steal at these prices.

look at 0:24... the rearaxle is broken AND the front wheel is black or virtually gone. Nobody make photographs, no one... although it should be a big story to see a burning Tesla...the timing of the clip and the over-amateurlook.. I like Tesla News, but it's getting hot

Make USA Today.

This is one of those reasons why although I LOVE the company and my Model S and reserved the X I think it's nuts investing at these multiples.....and valuation.

It's priced for perfection and even if someone wanted to manipulate the stock all they need to do is probably stage something and the stock can take a HUGE swing down.

If Tesla succeeds, the illuminati, if there is one, is doomed.

Remove the tin foil hat and you still have very real old school power structures at risk here.

No more gas stations? As in ever again?
We all know of a powerful few who might hate that idea.

No more gas cars? Ever?
Same as above.

Getting people to expect more/better in general?

Not shocked if this is a fake or staged.

If it is real, would like to see a gas car do this well in a fire of that size.

"they" try to stop them or even to slow them down. Video could be faked- not easy, but doable. The fire sometimes looks like masked on the outside and the wheels have strange jumps in perspective.
Watch closely at 0:23 and at 0:24 and than 0:26. This is an objectiv hint for a clear fake. What do You think?

BTW: Lightflash 0:15 looks like a cheap one-time-effect exactly after they guy is talking...

"C-O-N-S-P-I-R-I-C-Y" ... haha, maybe it is a special viralclip from George B.

I'm so excited to hear next statements of Tesla.

BTW-One thing is clear: A frontCam would've been a nice addon in this case ;) .. now we have no photo of the U.M.O. (unidentified metal object)

Wow, so many conspiracy theorists! What's next? The MS, driven by Elvis, ran over Big Foot who was running away from Lee Harvey Oswald? The impact with Big Foot caused his hair to catch fire which caused the explosion.

How about a more rational explanation: like something real and discoverable damaged the car and it caught fire? These things can happen and it doesn't mean there is any fault assignable to Tesla. There will be a full investigation by the highway patrol and I'm sure Tesla (after examining every tiny piece of information from the on board data recorder) will check every bolt, rivet and weld before they make a statement about what happened. Until then, it's all 100% speculation.

If anything, this is a good time to buy TSLA with this gross over-reaction!

Want to know what happened?
Ask the driver

"The incident happened Tuesday after 8 a.m. as the driver was traveling southbound on state Route 167, said Trooper Chris Webb of the Washington State Patrol. He said the driver stated that he believed he had struck some debris on the highway, triggering the fire, but a trooper who responded to the scene was unable to locate any objects on the roadway.

"The video posted on YouTube shows the front of the Tesla Model S in flames. It was first posted on car fan site Jalopnik which wrote that it came from a reader. Tesla shares have risen more than 400% since the start of the year so the damage to the stock, unlike to the car in the video, was minor."

bronto +1

On the tsla stock side, so many longs think there are shorts (Wall Street) that are trying to manipulate the stock down even though it's performed well while those short think "they" (also Wall Street) are trying to manipulate it up.

Maybe they cancel each other out?

I wonder if there is a team from Tesla heading to Kent to inspect teh car?

I wonder how the video guy knew the car was brand new, before recognizing it was a Tesla.

I don't understand some of these posts about the video being "faked". Pretty sure it's a fact that a MS actually did burn to a crisp yesterday.

I have it on good authority that Art Bell and C2C will be on this "fire". Now, back to rampant speculation...

There are a few things under the frunk:

1. AC compressor which runs at 300V
2. Air pump for suspension, which explains why the back end has dropped to the ground. Rear axle is not broken.
3. Brake booster and brake fluid reservoir (quite flammable stuff)
4. ABS controller, which has a lot of brake fluid as well
5. 12V aux battery (normal lead acid)
6. Heat exchangers and glycol to cool battery and motor. If the driver just had an extended driving session and braking/regen, the coolant was probably a bit warm. Not enough to cause a fire, nor is the coolant flammable.
7. A TON of plastic on the front of the car which will melt and flow when it's on fire.

You probably can't see the large metal debris because it's UNDER THE FRONT OF THE CAR!!!

If you hit something large and metal, and drag it under your car at highway speeds, it's going to probably get nice and red hot. That red hot piece of metal will be pushed up against plastic, first which will then catch fire.

There is no conspiracy by the guys shooting the video. There is no conspiracy by the unfortunate owner/driver of that Model S.

As Officer Barbrady from Southpark would say, "Move along, nothing to see here!"

As for the TSLA price, now's the time to jump in with both feet! This is going to be a small hiccup in the nice pretty line that points up and to the right.

Average year: 250,000 ICE fires
Tesla life to date: 1 fire (*)

* - reported as triggered from hitting an object.

I think the price drop is a buying opportunity.

I read that NHTSA won't be investigating anytime soon (if ever) because of the government shutdown.

Do I think the videos doctored... No.
Do I think the accident is staged… I hope not.
Do I think the battery was involved… Probably not.
Likely scenarios…

1. The driver hit something and it caused a fire in something flammable in the frank.
2. The driver was carrying a container of something highly flammable (propane tank for barbecue?) And it leaked, found the source of ignition and, well that would explain the mangled hood.

How precisely was the driver notified to get out of the car? Was this a message from the car indicating something was amiss?

This looks a little suspicious to me. The battery pack is very well protected, and for something like this to be possible, the burning part of the car must have been torn to pieces underneath. Other possibilities include an oxygen tank, a butane tank, or some other similar metal object or vessel containing a combustible substance that got pinned near the front car. Tesla will be investigating why this happened, but so will the insurer, the local fire and police departments and possibly the NHTSA. Frankly, posting such a video before anything is really known about the cause of the fire is highly irresponsible. It does not however, take a lot to entertain the masses. I still plan to get my Model X.

The explosion that can be seen in the video may be some of the batteries (provided that this real footage and not special effects). The pictures show the hood badly damaged, while the damage, if real could be attributed to some kind of explosion preceding the fire, it is well known that aluminum has a much lower melting point than steel, and that the hood could have melted if the fire was hot enough. (It is quite thin, so this is not as far fetched as one might think.)

It does look like something is burning on the ground in front of the car

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