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Model S fire?

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

Wasn't Honda Accord one of the best selling cars in US?

@ L8MDL - The Concorde crash was just one of several reasons. The airliner was ultimately retired for low passenger numbers following the 7/25/00 crash, the slump in air travel following 9/11, and rising maintenance costs. I don't see the same happening to Tesla, as the dynamics are totally different.

Ok, I can't stand this. Things will happen, look at Dick Van Dykes brand new Jaguar that caught fire and he had to be helped from the vehicle. The Jaguar burnt to the ground.
I guess that is the end of Jaguar's...? Of course not. I am a prospective buyer and have been watching this company grow and still a big believer in Tesla, their concept and Elon Musk and his team. See ya at a supercharger shortly.

So when I dropped off my Model S for service my husband was talking to one of the technicians who said that the object that the car struck was lodged in the under part and dragged for a while, which then ignited. He mentioned something about magnesium but my husband wasn't interested in retaining the information (DARN IT!). From the technician (yes, this is gossip. I understand) he said that the battery never case was never compromised despite what was said above (not sure what to believe on that).The said would have happened to any car that hit that object, however the damage to the car was limited to the front which is not common in these circumstances.

Take this info as you will. Just passing what they said to him along.

In my opinion, we all can talk about what happened and what's going to happen to Tesla and Model S, but we have to wait and see what the finding turns out to be. Plus, I'm not just talking about Tesla's findings (they will need to do this and post it quickly because if anything the media loves bad news). I'm talking about other findings. Many outside this forum will dismiss Tesla's findings. Whatever the case, I just hope the fire didn't start in the battery, because that will be a big problem. If it started else where, Tesla will be vindicated and everyone will move on.

NHTSA cannot investigate due to the government shutdown, so Tesla's findings may be the last word on this subject. I don't think a local fire department is equipped to investigate something like this.

Won't know anything definitive until NHTSA finishes their investigation (which won't start until the government shutdown ends).

Check this out Consumers Report speak about the incident .

a battery fire...... how about installing a fire extinguishing system the one similar to jet aircraft.
this kind of raging inferno is preventable even if the battery is compromised

I little prospective is in order...

If my $2.6 MILLION dollar vehicle went up in flames in a crash, heads would roll!!!!

One thing that is clear from the video is that at the time it was taken, the majority of the fuel for the fire is coming from the wheel wells and would therefore be the tires burning. That fuel could presumably even contribute to the fire that appears to be coming from the pavement in front of the car if the tires had partially melted.

Another interesting point is that there is a significant amount of magnesium located in the front of the Model S. During a recent repair to the cooling air inlets on my car, I noticed a pair of heavy duty cast frames that hold the air conditioning heat exchangers. I assumed that they were aluminum but the ranger said that they were mag. While magnesium can produce an intense fire that is difficult to extinguish, it would be very difficult to ignite. Also, I see no evidence that the fire shown in the video is from magnesium. If it were there would be a very brilliant white light and lots of white smoke. The smoke is black and obviously from the burning tires.

I certainly don't see any reason to suspect the lithium batteries as being the fuel for this fire. However they certainly contain enough energy to start the fire either through some kind of mechanical break down of the battery or from a short in the wiring. It will be interesting to see what Tesla Motors figures out regarding this incident. For now I see it as a opportunity to by TSLA at a discount.

Tesla has already admitted that the fire started in the battery pack.

@ flyfr8 - raging inferno? What story did you read? LOL

I hope insurance prices does not go up in case of such fires.

The owner of that S should save us all and come to the Forum and give us some facts. This community should be first to get this info or TM not the NY Times. He must know we are all waiting.....

In reading the newspaper report it says that the fire department lifted the car up and tried to cut through the battery bottom plate and "could not do so"(and they have some pretty awesome and destructive tools), so they had to cut in through the frunk - my interpretation is that whatever the S hit , it did not puncture the battery pack from below and so must have experienced some very unusual battery pack penetration, but from where - perhaps it hit the object, rolled it up through the frunk and then it penetrated the battery pack from above - only time and further investigation will reveal the details, and you can bet that Tesla is all over it, and will offer a full report - for me, I still feel safest when driving the Model S -

I'm not necessarily accepting that the fire started in the battery at this point based solely on a line in a news article (often wrong) reporting something ostensibly said by an un-named Tesla spokesman, who may or may not exist, and may or may not have all the facts if he does. And may or may not be an official spokesman.

It's just too soon to really "know" anything.

@mrsspaghetti - Tesla supposedly reached out to TMC with the same quote:

I think it is legitimate.

The object that was struck probably punctured one or more brake fluid lines. The loss of brake fluid pressure signaled a warning for the driver to pull over because this is a dangerous condition requiring immediate action. Whatever item underneath the car, if metal, would have created sparks that could easily have ignited the brake fluid. It's just a matter of moments before the tires start burning, frunk compartment catches, and before you know it the metal cage around the traction battery becomes a massive heat conductor pushing heat into the main battery pack. If you throw enough heat at something, it will burn.

Ok, I'll buy that the quote is legit, but not that it's necessarily entirely correct info. Hard to imagine they could know much yet.

Fair enough, but I strongly doubt that Tesla would say it started in the battery if they weren't pretty darn sure.

Sounds very much like a Disco Inferno circa 1976.

Apparently there are 100K+ car fires annually in the US and based on "fire incident per miles driven" Model S is 10 time less prone to fire than ICE cars. The issue is a PR issue due to perception.....

@ gill_sans

This happened in the Seattle metro area (Kent, WA) just off the south bound 167 freeway
exit ramp to Kent - Des Moines Road, right in the middle of the city of Kent. Took fire department three minutes to get there.

See also:

@mna123 or nnt - I hope your Prius doesn't have any uncontrollable acceleration. Toyota paid close to $1B in settlements for that one.

Tikiman- great +1 I wondering if Ferrari stocks are down?

From Fox News: "At 2:46 pm today a Tesla model S electric sedan traveling between Quartzite and Yuma, Arizona, was completely destroyed when it was accidentally targeted by an A-10 Warthog on training mission on the Barry Goldwater Firing Range. Several rockets and multiple rounds of cannon fire hit the Tesla, which informed its two dazed occupants to pull over to the side of the road and exit the vehicle. This they promptly did while the car caught fire and burned. It was subsequently towed to the nearest Tesla service center, where necessary repairs were reported to be extensive.

"Fox presumes the fire started in the battery compartment."

Model S underside got a sturdy Al plate. To puncture it an object with sharp hard edges would have to slide underneath. The velocity of the car plus the weight on the share object could cause the Al plate to be penetrated.

If that is the case, Tesla could replace the Al plate with something that is more resistant. Like Titanium alloy armor plate - expensive! Another option would be Al-ceramic-Kevlar sandwich... it would increase cost marginally. A cheaper solution would be a hardened Stainless Steel plate... just add a few pounds. It would be like a skid plate on a off road vehicle.

I am sure the folks at SpaceX can come up with a solution.

@thranx - lol


The obvious advantage of titanium is that Elon keeps plenty on hand for his suits.

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