A Tesla Model 3 With an Unfortunate History Bursts Into Flames While Driving

For a Tesla Model 3 owner, the fire that consumed his car is the culmination of a long line of unfortunate events. The Model 3 survived a bad crash in the first days of ownership, was damaged in flood, and finally ended its short life in flames. Telling him that EVs catch fire less often than ICEs would be useless.
A Tesla Model 3 bursts into flames while driving 11 photos
Photo: Ali Mohammad via Facebook | Edited
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Statistics assure us that electric vehicle fires happen less often than with ICE, yet every time an EV catches fire, it makes the headlines. Even more so if it’s a Tesla, considering the level of emotions surrounding the brand. Electric vehicle fires might be rare, but for those experiencing one, it is a significant and often traumatizing event. I know because it happened to me.

It wasn’t less so for Ali Mohammad, the owner of a Tesla Model 3 that burnt on Saturday on a Texan highway. According to the story shared on the Tesla Owners Worldwide Facebook group, Ali had just picked up the car from a body shop minutes before the fire started. It’s not clear how the two events are connected, but we’re certain a legal battle is underway to prove either theory. What’s more interesting is that the car in the case had a troubled history. People might say it was cursed.

Ali got the VIN of his Tesla in September 2021, and a week after that, he was already taking delivery of the Model 3. Two days into ownership, the owner ran a red light and T-boned another car. Everybody looking at the pictures of the car thought it was totaled, but the Tesla lived to see another day. Tesla insurance paid over $32K in repairs, and the car went on with its (arguably) very short life. Last summer, the car went through a flooded area, which severed the rear bumper and caused other damages to the underside.

We’re not sure whether the latest repairs were related to the flooding incident, but considering how long it takes for Tesla Service to schedule a repair, they might have been. Anyway, the car went up in flames after Ali took it from the body shop, where the technicians fixed the bumper and some underbody panels. According to his post on Tesla Owners Worldwide, they pulled some wires with it when they replaced it, and he believes this might have somehow caused the fire.

According to his report, Ali was driving on the highway when he noticed smoke coming out from the passenger area. The smoke got thicker as he tried to get off the highway, and soon, flames engulfed the whole cabin. One thing is certain, this was no battery fire. The blaze started inside the car, in the passenger area, and only affected the cabin. Battery fires are notoriously hard to extinguish, often ending with the whole car in ashes, which was not the case here. Another thing that is almost guaranteed is that Ali’s Model 3 will not be revived for the second time.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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