Tesla Model S on Fire: What Exactly Happened?

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Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Tesla ’s stock pared declines at the close yesterday after the electric-car maker said an Oct. 1 fire in one of its vehicles was caused by a crash. Bloomberg's Matt Miller and Jamie Butters report on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

It seems it was started by driving over something.

You mentioned the volt fires, that was a case where the battery case was pierced and left.

Later, the chemical reaction led to a fire.

Then it burns very hot when the batteries catch fire.

Maybe the same thing happened there.

Not my expertise.

That is what police were saying, they ran over an object, there with metal, the fire was hard to put out.

They kept trying to put it out over and over again until finally they were able to.

This raises questions about a model asked that few people are familiar with.

It comes so soon after tesla did so well in the safety and crash tests that they had been bragging about.

Better than any car ever in certain incidences.

I love the comparison to the chevy volt.

They ran into the volt with a truck and turned it over and left it upside down for three weeks before it caught fire.

In this case, it seems to have only been a matter of minutes before it turned into a massive bonfire.

It really raises questions as to whether or not this car is as safe as you once thought.

Or, what happened.

We are not going to get the accident report for a few days.

We only hear that a collided with a metal object.

That is about as they as you can possibly be.

The pictures a spate a lot more.

After the crash, sure.

But what didn't run into, a landmine?

A trashcan?

How long did it take?

It was not three weeks.

There was time, the driver got out and phoned it in.

The fire may be later.

The crash test, the star ratings they got was really for protecting occupants, which is your main goal.

You want humans to be safe.

That raises the question of ntsb, did they miss something with the model s? they do a variety of tests, the insurance institute does a variety of tests.

They do not find all the ways things can go wrong, do they?

No, it seems like something was missed.

The guy or the woman got out of the car.

Got out of the car safely, no one was injured.

This is why we can talk about this without being summer.

-- being somber.

You need to find out what it ran into before you draw conclusions.

It did not take a day for this car to catch on fire.

We are talking about maybe five minutes.

Part of the reason is because the battery is on the floor of the car.

Maybe the car was engulfed in flames.

That is the case with all electric cars.

They bolt the battery to a floor panel at chevy, ford.

But what does it take to make the battery catch on fire at?

How easy is it to pierce the battery and engulf the entire car.

If it is too easy, you worry.

If we find out that what he ran into was something -- should tesla be explaining a bit more about what happened?

As much as they know about what happened, should they be out there more talking about what happened and whether or not this could happen to other model s's ? it is still pretty early.

I am sure they will get out.

They tend to be fairly communicative.

We have not seen any tweets from elon musk, but i would not be surprised.

For tesla, it is another distraction, another battle that they do not want to fight while they are trying to do these other difficult things.

Growing the business in europe and asia, developing a new model x. battles with the dealers around the country.

All that stuff is a distraction from the really hard stuff they are already doing.

One of the battles they don't have is with the stock market.

Even though the stock got hit, it was down 6%. it did not take nearly the damage that the car did.

It is still a $20 billion company that only sells 20,000 cars a year.

That is an estimate for this year.

There is one case in which tesla is doing really well.

They did also release a statement shortly after the accident.

They did.

You can imagine, having interviewed and talk with elon musk, he is very close with his products.

He considers any affront to the model s as a personal attack.

He has been very close to designing this model s. you can imagine that he wants to be as hands-on as possible when it comes on to figuring out what happened.

That seems psychologically dangerous.

He should distance himself a little from the product.

He designs the product.

He has got to feel pretty good.

People rave about this car.

"consumer reports" came out, he got 99 points there.

An incredible safety rating.

I am not sure that this one accident is enough to derail the success that elon musk has had at tesla.

We need more details.

Thank you for joining us, matt miller of bloomberg news.

Also, of course, jamie butters in detroit.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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