Tesla starts shooting flames while driving
A TESLA has been filmed spontaneously bursting into flames while being driven in Los Angeles over the weekend.
The car belonged to British TV director Michael Morris, the husband of US actress Mary McCormack who filmed the incident and posted it on social media, writing "thank god my three little girls weren't in the car with him".
According to Ms McCormack, her husband was driving the Tesla Model S on Santa Monica boulevard when "out of the blue" a couple flagged him down and told him to pull over after seeing flames spewing out from underneath the car.
The video posted to Twitter shows large flames shooting out from underneath the front left wheel of the battery-powered car while onlookers were left fearing an explosion.
@Tesla This is what happened to my husband and his car today. 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 pic.twitter.com/O4tPs5ftVo— Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) 16 June 2018
Police and firefighters were called to the scene and the fire was extinguished without any reports of injuries.
Tesla called the incident "an extraordinarily unusual occurrence" and said it is investigating.
The car's owner, Mr Morris has produced episodes of hit Netflix shows including the controversial drama 13 Reasons Why, Kingdom and Bloodline. He also directed episodes of House of Cards, Preacher and Brothers and Sisters.
Ms McCormack, who appeared in hit TV series The West Wing and 1998 blockbuster Deep Impact, has been married to Morris since 2003.
The actress said the electric car had not been on autopilot at the time.
Tesla has recently signalled its desire to reduce the amount of cobalt used in the lithium-ion batteries that power its cars but such a plan could prove easier said than done given that cobalt controls the thermal activity inside the cells and acts as a thermal stabiliser. Without it, battery explosions could become more common.
Tesla vehicles catching fire were often in the news a few years ago after a series of fires happened in a relatively short period of time.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk often derides the media for disproportionately reporting on Tesla incidents without giving the came level of coverage to deaths and injuries caused by traditional cars, but the fact that this vehicle reportedly caught on fire on its own without any impact is a worrying sign for the company.
However the automaker claims that statistically, its vehicles are 10 times less likely to catch on fire than petrol-powered cars.