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Tesla Model 3 Catches Fire In New Jersey, Reignites Multiple Times

Incident highlights rare occurrence of Tesla fires and challenges with EV battery chemistry.

Another Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) vehicle went up in flames last week. The vehicle reignited several times and burned to a crisp before firefighters finally got control of the situation.

Employees work at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 20, 2020. U.S. electric car company Tesla in 2019 built its first Gigafactory outside the United States in the new Lingang area, with a designed annual production capacity of 500,000 units. (DING TING/GETTY IMAGES) 

A 2022 Tesla Model 3 erupted in flames on the side of the road in New Jersey on Sept. 13. A first responder on the scene provided photos and details of the event to Inside EVs

The Tesla Model 3 is the most popular and one of the best selling cars for the company along with the Model Y. The driver reportedly hit an object in the road which prompted warning signals on the dash, indicating that there was a critical problem. 

The person was able to pull over and exit the vehicle before things really heated up.

The battery pack began emitting heavy amounts of smoke before roaring flames engulfed the electric vehicle. First responders on the scene had trouble taming the blaze. 

“Time after time, after extinguishing the flame, the vehicle started to smoke and then flame up again,” the report indicates.

Electric vehicles are actually less prone to fires than conventional internal combustion vehicles contrary to popular belief. However, when an ICE vehicle catches fire and then gets extinguished, it doesn’t usually reignite.

When it comes to EVs, the battery chemistry can cause the vehicle to enter what’s called thermal runaway, and when that happens, the battery cells begin self-heating and sucking more oxygen, which can repeatedly reignite the flames. 

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, for every 100,000 electric vehicles, there are about 25 fires per year. 

For every 100,000 ICE vehicles, there are more than 1,500 fires per year. It’s worth noting that the data may be skewed because the average age of electric vehicles is much less than ICE vehicles. 

When Tesla first launched the Model S, multiple vehicles caught fire after striking debris in the road. 

The Model S sold more in the in the early 2010s that catered to high end buyers prior to the Model 3’s entry to the automotive market. It was the most popular EV at the time when Tesla was revolutionizing the EV market.

Tesla has since fixed the issue by adding a titanium plate and aluminum deflector under the vehicles. 

Tesla fires seem to be a pretty rare occurrence now, but when a Muskmobile does go up in flames, you are likely going to hear about it.



Produced in association with Benzinga

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