Tesla could really do with some good publicity right now.
This isn't the first time a Tesla Model S has caught on fire, but this time it didn't burst into flames after an accident. Director Michael Morris, the husband of actress Mary McCormack, was driving his Model S on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, when it spontaneously burst into flames without warning. According to his wife, another motorist noticed the sedan was engulfed in flames and flagged the couple down. He pulled over, got out and waited for authorities to arrive at the scene to extinguish the fire.
"No accident, out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank god my three little girls weren't in the car with him," McCormack posted on Twitter. Tesla is investigating the incident and said the fire was "an extraordinarily unusual occurrence."
Luckily, Morris escaped unharmed and the fire was put out promptly. From videos posted on YouTube and Twitter, the flames appear to be coming from the front section of the battery pack. Initial assessments also suggest the fire may have been caused by a faulty battery pack either from a production error or punctured by something on the road. A few years ago, a spate of Model S fires caused by objects on the road puncturing the battery prompted Tesla to fit additional underbody protection, so it's possible this could have happened again. The fire could have simply been caused by an electrical fault, but we'll have to wait for official confirmation. Tesla could really do with some good publicity right now.