Tesla’s biggest controversies lately have been how it will sell Model 3 sedans and if it will remain profitable; however, an old problem resurfaced Sunday — another Model S caught fire, killing the driver, in Davie, Florida.
The 2016 Model S was traveling at a high rate of speed, according to published reports, and the driver lost control sliding across three lanes of traffic before hitting a median and coming to rest after hitting some palm trees. At that point it caught on fire, witnesses reported.
An officer on the scene attempted to free the driver by breaking the window, but was unable to do so. According to Tesla, when the vehicle’s airbags deploy, the doors unlock, the truck unlocks and the door handles, which retract into the doors, extend.
However, it appears this did not happen in this case. Witnesses also said the airbags failed to deflate, exacerbating the difficulty for first responders to get the driver out of the vehicle.
(Tesla batteries reigniting after being put out by fire departments. Click Here for the story.)
“We are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy,” Tesla officials said in a statement to Autoblog.com.
“We have reached out to the local authorities to offer our cooperation. We understand that speed is being investigated as a factor in this crash, and know that high speed collisions can result in a fire in any type of car, not just electric vehicles.”
(Click Here for more about the NTSB investigating a Tesla Model S fire.)
Problems with the door hands on Tesla vehicles are not unusual. It was the cause of one of the earliest well-publicized issues for the company. However, the number of Tesla vehicles that have caught fire has certainly superseded the problem.
Two teens were trapped inside a Model S after an accident in May 2018 when the vehicle caught fire, killing the pair. A third teen survived because he was thrown from the car during the wreck. The husband of actress Mary McCormack escaped harm after his Tesla Model S caught fire for no apparent reason while he was driving it. Witnesses had to get his attention to let him know his car was on fire. The NTSB is investigating.
(To see more about Tesla having a driverless car ready by the end of the year, Click Here.)
The company has been faced with several instances of their vehicles catching on fire after a collision and denied culpability in nearly each instance. Victims and their families have file at least half a dozen lawsuits against company as a result of the fires or other crashes.