Brand New Tesla Model S Plaid Burst Into Flames, Almost Incinerating Driver

The recently debuted $130,000 Tesla Model S Plaid is the company’s most expensive and fastest car yet, capable of going zero to 60 in just two seconds. When CEO Elon Musk introduced the car at an event last month he boasted, “There is something that’s quite important to the future of sustainable energy. We’ve got to show that an electric car is the best car — hands down. They can be the fastest cars, the safest cars. They can be the most kickass cars in every way.”

This past Tuesday, however, one of the first lucky customers to take delivery of a Model S Plaid was almost incinerated inside the vehicle when it suddenly burst into flames while he was driving it near his home in a suburb of Philadelphia. Mark Geragos, managing partner of the law firm Geragos & Geragos, told Business Insider his client was driving the brand new Model S Plaid he had just taken delivery of the previous Saturday when he noticed smoke, then fire, coming from the car. Geragos declined to identify the driver.

The attorney said his client initially was trapped inside the car as he struggled to unlock the doors. Eventually he was able extricated himself from the sedan. The Tesla continued rolling down the street for around 25 to 30 yards, before becoming totally engulfed in flames, according to Geragos.

[Geragos & Geragos]
“He was able to get out of the door somehow. And the car, shortly after he got out, turned into a fireball,” Geragos said. He said his client had not done anything to damage the car and that the incident seemed “completely spontaneous.”

The attorney wouldn’t say whether his client is planning legal action against Tesla, but Geragos has called on the company to take the Plaid Model S off the road until the incident is investigated.

Gladwyne Volunteer Fire Company first responders spent almost 90 minutes to pouring water on the car’s battery pack to cool it down. The owner of the car plans to have the car independently evaluated to determine the cause of the blaze.

[Geragos & Geragos]
Tesla’s vehicles have been known to catch fire during collisions or after an impact to the underside of the car, where the battery pack – which can overheat when its cooling system is damaged – is located.

In November, a Model S in Texas suddenly started shooting out flames “like a flamethrower,” its owner told The Washington Post. And in 2019, a Model S seemed to spontaneously combust in a Shanghai parking garage. Incidents like these prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation in 2019 into Tesla fires.

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