Amid its ongoing Autopilot controversy, Tesla Motors is bound to face another issue after one of its cars was found ablaze in Biarritz, France on Monday. The shocking bit about this story is that the Model S caught fire after just 20 minutes of driving.
According to Daily Mail, the Tesla Model S sedan was being used in a test drive in southwest France when the driver saw smoke coming from the vehicle and heard a loud noise. The driver immediately alerted the two other passengers of Elon Musk’s electric vehicle, and all three of them managed to escape before the Model S was consumed in flames minutes later.
While it is good that nobody got injured out of the Tesla fire incident, the cause behind it is piquing the curiosity of many. There are local media reports claiming that the car displayed a notification on the dashboard stating that there was a “problem with charging” before the incident took place. What’s odd about this is that the car was not at all plugged at the time of the incident.
The driver was identified as a Tesla employee, while the two passengers were said to be prospective buyers of the Model S. The passengers have yet to reveal their side of the story.
Meanwhile, Tesla is already on its toes in cooperating with the authorities who are investigating what really caused the incident. However, Elon Musk’s automaker has yet to release an official statement to shed more light on how the Model S caught fire, Fox News reported.
“We are working with the authorities to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation. The passengers are all unharmed. They were able to safely exit the vehicle before the incident occurred,” a Tesla spokesperson told Fortune.
This is not the first time that a Model S sedan went ablaze. In 2013, two models were damaged by flames due to issues with their battery packs. At the time, the investigation wrapped up with Tesla’s move to make software and mechanical updates, like raising the car’s suspension and adding titanium shield for protection of its batteries.
— Cédric Faiche (@cedricfaiche) August 15, 2016