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Electronic News & Comment

Slideshow: 'Bizarre' Incident Led to Tesla Battery Fire

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Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Good to know
Elizabeth M   10/8/2013 7:09:41 AM
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Thanks for your continued excellent coverage of this, Chuck. It's good to know that it was a bizarre and rare incident that led to this fire, and that it wasn't some major defect in the battery. Still, these incidents are troublesome and I hope any issues that could potentially cause them are resolved by engineers before something like this happens again.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Video
Rob Spiegel   10/8/2013 8:37:23 AM
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Chuck, and can see a number or reasons that video went viral. It feeds the concern that EVs can be dangerous. There must have been some delay before the fire that allowed the driver to escape.

Jennifer Campbell
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Gold
Re: Video
Jennifer Campbell   10/8/2013 10:16:54 AM
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I've read other reports that said the car is designed so well that the fire was contained to the front, and didn't immediatly engulf the cabin. I'm glad to hear that the driver escaped unscathed, but it can't be a very good feeling to watch your Telsa go up in flames!

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Video
Rob Spiegel   10/8/2013 10:27:31 AM
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Yes Jenn, in the video it was clear that only the front engine compartment was on fire. What's unfortunate about this incident is that it's so unusual it really can't be fixed through engineering. It ends up adding -- probably unfairly -- to the perception that EVs are not safe. I thought the conversation between the two guys taking the video was perfect. Thanks for not cutting the audio.

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Video
Nancy Golden   10/8/2013 12:44:21 PM
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Failure analysis is bringing new information to light that seems to work in favor of the Tesla - especially since the passenger compartment did as well as it did considering the massive fire inches away. However - perception is everything and regardless of the facts that are being unearthed after careful investigation - this incident has defintely caused further damage to the already fragile reputation of EVs.

tekochip
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Platinum
Gasoline
tekochip   10/8/2013 1:06:20 PM
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A fuel tank full of gasoline would not have faired any better.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Video
Rob Spiegel   10/8/2013 1:08:11 PM
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Nancy, I agree about perception is everything. Most will look at this and think, "Ah, another EV up in flames." Especially since this video has gone viral. With 3 million page views, the video of the accident is getting some attention. Tesla's stock fell 6.2% on the news.

ChuckCooper
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Iron
Re: Video
ChuckCooper   10/8/2013 1:39:27 PM
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Actaully, it's pretty impressive that the fire was so well contained.  In many car fires with leaking gas tanks, the gas follows the slope of the road and ends up surrounding the car forcing the occupants to open the door into the fire and then escape through the flames.  Thinking about burning gas on my feet while breathing flames make me appreciate the Tesla's containment.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Video
Rob Spiegel   10/8/2013 1:45:52 PM
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Good point, Chuck. Without a leaking, burning fluid, the EV fires are less dangerous. It's still a rough image for consumers to see, especially as this video goes viral. While an engineer may marvel at the containment, most just see a car engulfed in flames.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Video
Charles Murray   10/8/2013 6:16:37 PM
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I agree, Rob. The video does feed concerns over lithium-ion safety. I admit that I, too, believe lithium-ion can be dangerous -- if it's not engineered properly. But if it is engineered properly, there should be no reason for concern, just as there's no reason for concern when I climb into a gasoline-burning car.

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