Several Tesla Fires in a Few Days Bring Back Concerns About EV Safety

At least three fire incidents with Tesla vehicles remind us of what Mujeeb Ijaz said a few days ago. The ONE (Our New Energy) CEO said that mixing nickel and cobalt is not something EVs should adopt on a massive scale. Coincidence or not, these Tesla fires show Ijaz had a point.
Tesla Model 3 spontaneously catches fire in California City 6 photos
Photo: California City Police Department
Tesla Model 3 spontaneously catches fire in California CityTesla Model 3 spontaneously catches fire in California CityTesla Model 3 spontaneously catches fire in California CityTesla Model 3 spontaneously catches fire in California CityTesla Model Y catches fire in Vancouver
The first one happened on May 14. At around 4:56 PM local time, a fire truck was dispatched to a house on Mendiburu Road, California City. According to Bakersfield Now, the Tesla Model 3 belonged to Ediel Ruiz. He and his family went to visit his partner’s relatives and parked the EV in front of their house. A while later, Ruiz was warned the alarm had gone off.

When the Model 3 owner went outside to check his car, it was engulfed in smoke. He then opened the back door to try to understand what was going on and saw “a wall of flames” inside the vehicle, which melted the car seat of his 4-month baby. Fortunately, no one was inside the Model 3. The California City Fire Department managed to kill the fire.

Ruiz told the source that his car was insured by Tesla, but that he could not contact anyone until May 16. When the company sent him a Tesla Road Assistance vehicle to collect his burned EV, the representative said he could not transport it because the ashes would go everywhere on the freeway. The Tesla customer will only get a new car in October and is now using a rental.

Tesla Model Y catches fire in Vancouver
Photo: Mjarchie/Twitter
The second fire happened on May 20 in Vancouver. According to CTV News, Jamil Jutha was driving toward Mountain Highway at around 10 AM when his eight-month EV shut down, and all electronic components stopped working, including the doors and windows. That was when smoke started to come out from the air vents. Jutha kicked the window and managed to escape.

Although the car has a manual release, the Model Y owner said it is not “entirely intuitive” and that he just wanted to escape the car. Now that his car is a write-off, he has to look for a replacement, but decided not to buy another Tesla. CTV News tried to contact the company, but did not hear back. The EV will be examined by fire investigators on May 24 to determine the blaze's cause.

The third event happened at a Tesla Service Center in Coral Gables on May 22. A short video was apparently posted on a Facebook group by Jose Velazquez. We can see in the images several other Tesla vehicles parked next to the Model S in flames. We will try to find more information about that.

Tesla Model 3 spontaneously catches fire in California City
Photo: Edith Parker and Ediel Ruiz
The fourth case happened in New Jersey, and it was fatal (the image above is from the first case). We have not counted it because it is not clear if the driver died because of the crash or due to the fire. According to Daily Voice, Daniel Sincavage was driving his Model S northbound on Route 47 on May 19 when he lost control, went off the highway, and struck some trees. A 40-year-old passenger managed to escape with minor injuries. We also need more information on this crash. Although the fire can be credited to the wreck, it is also essential to determine why the EV burst into flames.

Ton Arts (tweet below) has been documenting Tesla fires all over the world. In his lists, we have had 300 so far. Arts is also a fierce critic of Autopilot and FSD and tries to keep track of all accidents involving the driving aid systems from Tesla. Regarding the fires, the high number shows the EV maker should address these concerns as fast as possible. The fact that at least three are so recent also puts more focus on what Ijaz stressed. Not only for Tesla but also for all companies that are now following its recipe for electric cars.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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