Stolen Tesla Model S In Horrible Accident, Tesla To Study Aftermath

Here’s the setup: Someone stole a Tesla Model S in L.A. and went for a joyride that turned into a police chase and resulted in a horrific multi-car crash. The Model S itself ended up ripping in two, with the front part of the car and the rear completely separated. It looks as if the rear of the vehicle embedded into the side of a building.

Worse, the smashed car burst into flames, apparently due to the battery being compromised. Tesla’s battery catching fire after a trauma has been a problem before, and the company re-engineered the housing this spring to better protect the battery in the event of crashes.

Tesla Model S accident

Granted, this particular crash was a true anomaly; there’s a huge difference between a high-speed police chase collision and getting rear-ended in a parking lot. Still, Tesla is reportedly working with L.A. police and fire departments to investigate the accident.

Tesla Model S

Tesla is using this as an opportunity to examine the effects of a crash on its vehicles. “There aren’t so many S’s involved in major crashes, and certainly not quite like this one, so we absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened,” Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule told The Rakyat Post.
MichaelCramer 5 months ago

I think it's EXTREMELY important to point out: Absolutely nobody died in this crash, not even the person that stole the vehicle.

5 months ago

this is the third crash where a tesla catches fire.. there are not many tesla crashes due the amount of cars on the street but this seems to be an issue..what would be good to know is how much time passed between the crash and the fire..

Windy 5 months ago

@Anonymous - Not really an issue, if you look at some statistics. In the US, there are 250 million cars on the road and about 250k car fires every year. which pretty much means every year 1 out of every 1k cars catch on fire. Tesla has about what? 30k cars on the road? Looking at those numbers 3 out of 30k (1 out of 10k) is actually very very good. It just gets a lot more publicity because it is a Tesla.

That said, those kind of major accidents are pretty rare, because no sane person goes over 100mph in an urban setting outside of video games. Looking at other photos, half the car got stuck inside a building even. A real mess.

KevinLozandier 5 months ago

@MichaelCramer Thanks for pointing that it; that's amazing considering how horrible the photos of the crash scene are.

sevags 5 months ago

The driver of the Tesla lived!?! how! at those speeds!? The fire must have started late enough for him to exit the vehicle? Wow just wow!

I was involved in a 5 car accident on Thursdays. Stupid woman was txting and ran a red light into the intersection in a huge GMC Yukon. The car next to me and I both t-boned her at the same time throwing her into 2 other cars and a flower shop. Luckily a car on the other side of the intersection has a Dash Cam and recorded nearly the whole thing! My Fusion might be totaled :(.

scolaner 5 months ago

Geez sevags, glad you made it out in piece!

realneil 5 months ago

Glad that you survived sevags.

That Yukon must have been like hitting a wall.

RamSundaram 5 months ago

Tesla has ~35k cars on the road, so 3 is a VERY acceptable number if you ask me. Besides - this guy snapped the car into half!

5 months ago

Yes, i know..but 3 cars catching fire after a crash is something to consider, not among the cars on the streets.. I mean, the crash cases that ended up in a fire.. Maybe is just coincidence but is not something people would just let go in toyota or ford

5 months ago

My point is not that tesla is a low quality car..but I work with batteries and.. They need to be handled with care.. Maybe warn owners about the risk of overheating in case of a crash, there is a case in merida mexico, the car was in a turn, and hit a tree, not passing the 60kph..

5 months ago

As you see the car was almost intact, it wasnt a massive crash damage

TheGreatWarMage 5 months ago

The driver of the vehicle is being said to have been thrown out of the car when it ripped into 2.


It would seem most of the fires, are from front damage, while this one looks to be the middle of the car.  The fires "look" pretty localized, though intense.

TheGreatWarMage 5 months ago

Sounds like a very major accident sevagsHope you didn't get injured majorly (or at all).  GL on all that proceeds from it.

KurtJenney 5 months ago

If the batteries are penetrated then there will be a thermal problem due to 400 Volts being short circuited...Simple as that. This latest fire was due to the battery pack being split in half...because the car was split in half...

MenachemMinkin 5 months ago

Vehicle fires are not uncommon. Don't act as if gasoline-based cars are the pinnacle of safety and that battery powered cars are some untested unknown. Tesla considers the safety of their cars as a high priority as they should: their reputation depends on it. So far, they have succeeded to a great degree winning safety awards for the Model S. Since the widely publicized fires, they've improved the underbody of the car:

If I were in an auto accident I would feel much safer being in a Model S than in any other comparable car.

infinityzen1 5 months ago

I'll just keep my Infiniti. That crash was pretty nasty, though I have seen much worse. Like that Porsche that hit the wall near a toll booth going over 100mph.

JulinRenSilva 5 months ago

100mph??? If anything, that is impressive. Survival rate at such high speeds are very low for Sedan-style vehicles.

JulinRenSilva 5 months ago

A thing to note is that while the batteries did ignite, the fire was for the most part contained to the battery compartment . . . I'd be a lot more worried about a vehicle with just 30 litres of combustible fuel ablaze.

sevags 5 months ago

Thanks everyone for th kind words!!! I'm actually in quite a bit of pain but it could have been much worse!


realneil; it was like hitting  a wall for sure!!!!! And for the Infiniti next to me who never got to brake it totally looks smashed like it went I to a wall down tpassed the engine oxm

Joel H 5 months ago

I think it's only prudent to investigate the cause of the fire and the situation that led up to it, but there has to be some leeway for the fact that yes, incredibly improbable events will *always* lead to catastrophic consequences. The bigger question would be whether an improbable event that an individual *survives* is then compromised by a secondary fire that kills the person before EMTs can extract them.

In a case like this, examining what happened to cause the fire is still valuable, even if the risk of fire is incredibly low in absolute terms.

StaticFX 5 months ago

I find no fault with Tesla in this.. if the crash is bad enough to rip the car in 2... something is going to catch fire.

Mordymion 5 months ago

I find it funny that so much bigger of a deal is being made of the car than it literally tearing in half. Just seems odd.

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