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Tesla’s 3rd Model S Fire Adds to Maker’s Woes

Stock takes huge tumble.

by on Nov.07, 2013

An Instagram image of a third reported Tesla Model S fire in Smyrna, Tennessee. Photo Credit:

Another Tesla Model S battery sedan has caught fire, the third such incident in six weeks, and an event that is contributing to the California carmaker’s sudden stock price plunge.

Ironically, the incident occurred in Smyrna, Tennessee, according to the Tesla Motors Club website, the same town where Nissan produces its own battery-electric vehicle, the Leaf.

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Tesla officials say they plan to immediately investigate the fire which appears to have occurred following a collision involving the Tesla. Two other Tesla vehicles have suffered fires since late September, and the latest incident could raise new concerns about the safety of the lithium-ion technology used by Tesla and other battery-car makers.


Did Feds Inadvertently Cause Chevy Volt Fire?

Feds didn't follow protocol after crash test.

by on Nov.11, 2011

Did NHTSA inadvertently cause a fire after crash testing a Chevrolet Volt?

Copyright 2011 by

The spotlight is on the Chevrolet Volt following word that one of the plug-in hybrids caught fire while being tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But has learned that the fire was readily preventable had a few simple steps been taken after a Volt was put through a series of tests three weeks earlier.

Federal regulators have promised a full investigation of the spring incident in which the Volt caught fire and burned several nearby vehicles.  That has raised serious questions about the safety of its batteries, though GM officials say it may instead require adapting federal crash tests – as well as what happens in the field in the event of a real collision.

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The fire occurred at a private facility in Wisconsin where the NHTSA conducts crash tests on new vehicles.  On May 12, the battery car was subject to a so-called “pole” test, where it is rammed into a barrier at 20 mph to simulate a side impact.  The vehicle was then subject to what is known informally as the “rotisserie test,” where it is rolled over into various positions to test for leaks that might have occurred during the crash.

Ironically, the Volt did well enough to earn a five-star rating, the best possible.