Tesla ‘spontaneously’ ignites on California freeway

A Tesla Model S “spontaneously caught fire” on a Sacramento County highway last weekend after its battery compartment overheated, authorities said.

The car was traveling at “freeway speeds” on Highway 50 in Rancho Cordova on Saturday afternoon when it burst into flames, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said in a tweet.

Before it caught fire on a pavement, the car had no known mechanical issues, authorities said.

Firefighters used jacks to lift the white Tesla before pulverizing the underside of the vehicle and its battery.

“The fire was extinguished with [approximately] 6,000 gallons of water, as battery cells continued to burn,” the fire district tweeted.

Photos and video from the fire district show black smoke belching from the Tesla as firefighters spray it to the side of the freeway as traffic continues to flow.

No injuries were reported.

In June, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District extinguished another fiery Tesla.

This car, which had been involved in an accident, had been parked in a demolition site for three weeks before suddenly catching fire in the yard.

It took firefighters more than an hour to extinguish the flames, the fire station said in a tweet.

Crews continued to extinguish the flames, but they continued to relight in the battery compartment, the district said. Eventually, firefighters dug a pit in the wrecking site, placed the car inside, and filled the pit with water.

According to a 2016 Tesla Model S emergency response guide, battery fires can take up to 24 hours to cool completely.

“When a fire is involved, consider the entire vehicle to be live and DO NOT TOUCH ANY part of the vehicle,” the guide states.

Los Angeles Times

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