National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report of its investigation of the fatal high-speed crash involving Tesla Model S in May. The crash occurred in Florida where the 18-year old driver of lost control of the Model S crashing it along Seabreeze Boulevard according to a report by Tech Crunch. According to the report, NTSB report pointed out that the batter of the Model S caught fire twice after the accident. The crash resulted in the death of the driver and the front seat passenger while the third passenger survived the crash.
According to the report, the car was engulfed in flames during the accident and it took Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue Department about 200 to 300 gallons of foam and water to extinguish the fire. The department also applied foam and water to the broken parts of the car lying around at the location of the accident “which included small portions” of the high-voltage lithium-ion battery. The battery caught fire when it the crashed Model S was being removed from the scene and it was extinguished quickly. It caught fire for the second time when the car reached the storage yard and the local fire department had to reach the storage yard to extinguish the fire.
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NTSB notes that the investigation will also include the procedure used to extinguish the battery fire in addition to how the battery was removed and the care was stored after the crash. The report notes that this is not an isolated case of fire incident that involves a Tesla battery. Two additional incidents have been reported in the last couple of months where the battery of a Tesla vehicle has caught fire. The first case was when the battery of a Tesla Model X caught fire “three or four times” six days after the crash in California.
The second incident was reported when actress Mary McCormack posted a video on her Twitter account “showing her husband’s Tesla” abruptly catching fire. Tesla stated that it was issuing “the highly unusual event.” The company has not issued any official statement about the NTSB report. The company has maintained that its battery pack is designed in a way so that it does not ignite and in case it catches fire, the fire spreads slowly in comparison to a normal car. The company has also pointed out that its batteries are mounted in “fortified structure” on the floor of its cars.