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Another Tesla Catches Fire After Running Over Object

November 9, 2013

Tesla catches fire in Tennessee

By Leslie Spellman :: 3:35 PM

Another Tesla electric vehicle has been involved in a fire, the second known instance to occur after the vehicle struck a piece of debris on the road, and the third Tesla fire in five weeks.

In the latest incident, a Tesla Model S sedan struck a tow hitch that was lying in the lane of travel on a highway in Tennessee. The hitch penetrated part of the undercarriage of the vehicle and started an electrical fire. The Tesla’s driver was able to safely pull the vehicle to the side of the road and exit it without injuries.

This fire is very similar to a Tesla fire that occurred in Washington state last month. In that incident, the car struck a piece of metal rebar lying in the road, which penetrated the car’s electrical system and started a fire. The driver in the Washington fire was also able to safely exit his vehicle without injury.

The third Tesla fire happened in Mexico when the driver collided with a concrete barrier.

While the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to investigate the fire in the Washington incident, the agency has not yet decided whether to look into the fire in Tennessee. Yesterday, the agency issued the following statement: “NHTSA is in close communication with Tesla and local authorities gathering information about the incident to determine if additional action is necessary.”

Tesla Motors has dispatched a team of engineers and accident investigators to Tennessee to look at the vehicle and better understand the cause of the fire. Tesla currently has about 19,000 of its Model S electric sedans on the road across the globe.

Photo above courtesy of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.