Over the weekend, a reddit post and subsequent report told of a major accident involving a Tesla Model S that was being taken for a test drive in France. The incident occurred in the city of Biarritz, and an eye witness first posted this photo on the web.
Cars bursting into flames after a collision aren’t an unknown occurrence, but for such an incident to happen on a test drive is definitely not normal. Tesla is yet to make a statement regarding the incident, but this is bound to represent some very bad publicity for the company.
The blue Tesla Model S 90 in the photo can be seen burning rapidly, but this photo was taken after all three people exited safely from the car without being injured by the fire. The original report says that fire personnel arrived shortly on the scene to put out the fire.
Tesla’s response after such incidents that did not leave anyone injured are typically centered around why the media “picks on them” rather than cite the hundreds of internal combustion engine fire accidents.
Unfortunately, in June, there was one fatality where a driver of a Tesla Model S was killed while the autopilot was on, and that issues is still floating around without resolution. However, Tesla has removed the promotions around “self-driving” claims for the Model S after a man in Beijing, China, recently crashed his Tesla and said that he was “sold on the vehicle because of what he thought was the car’s ability to drive itself.”
What This Means for Tesla
Tesla is not new to public criticism, especially because they are spearheading a massive movement from internal combustion engines to newer battery technology that is more environmentally friendly. Not only the entire automotive industry, but also the oil and gas industry naturally have to worry about Tesla becoming too popular because it would mean a decline in traditional petrol and diesel-run vehicles.
This sort of incident does indeed look bad for Tesla because the technology of electric vehicles is not something the average consumer is very familiar with. Strangely, the same person who doesn’t mind being strapped into a car carrying gallons of highly inflammable liquid fuel and traveling at 120 mph will think twice and three times before getting into a Tesla, which is logically much safer. The Model S does have a firewall to protect passengers in the event of a fire in the battery pack, but such an eventuality is extremely rare.
What makes it scary is that the media rarely covers fires when it happens to regular cars on the road. But one EV catches fire and everyone is up in arms with the old “Tesla is dangerous” slogan that impedes the growth of electric vehicles on the road.