Firefighters struggled for hours to douse a burning brand new Tesla Model S Plaid on Wednesday night at a Pennsylvania suburb after it suddenly burst into flames while being driven. The Model S Plaid is Tesla's most expensive car till date and the news comes just weeks after the company started delivering the first batch of the cars.
The driver of the car hasn't been identified but Mark Geragos, managing partner of the law firm Geragos & Geragos, said his client was driving a brand new Model S Plaid after getting the delivery of the car on Saturday. However, it didn't last even five days and what remains now is just the skeleton.
According to a report in Electrek, the Gladwyne Fire Department responded to a call around 9 pm in Haverford, Pennsylvania, about a car catching fire while being driven. Firefighters reached the spot but struggled to get the situation under control even after three hours although, they were reportedly trained to handle fires in Tesla cars.
"Due to prior training classes on Tesla Vehicle Fire emergencies, Engine 24 laid a 5 inch supply line into the scene so that we could keep a continual water stream on the fire to extinguish the fire and cool the batteries down to ensure complete extinguishment," the Gladwyne Volunteer Fire Company shared in a Facebook post.
An EMT who also reached the scene soon said that the call was made by a resident of the neighborhood who saw the "Tesla driving up hill without a passenger while ablaze," but also notes it cannot be confirmed due to a lack of video evidence.
Fire department officials later confirmed that no injuries occurred due to the fire but what now remains of the car is a pile of metal and trash.
The EMT at the scene shared details of the incident on Reddit: "The caller claimed that the car was driving up hill without a passenger while ablaze but this cannot be conclusively proven due to a lack of video evidence and the fact that all of the internals that would prove it are currently worth their weight in scrap."
Geragos said his client struggled narrowly escaped from being killed inside the car. He said that the owner struggled to unlock the doors but eventually extricated himself from the sedan. The Model S Plaid continued rolling down the street for around 25 to 30 yards, before becoming turning into a ball of fire, Geragos said.
"He was able to get out of the door somehow. And the car, shortly after he got out, turned into a fireball," Geragos said. He said his client had not done anything to damage the car and that the incident seemed "completely spontaneous."
The Model S Plaid is Tesla's latest and most expensive car, which hit the roads in June after months of delay. While unveiling the car on June 11, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that it can go from zero to 60 in under two seconds and can achieve the top speed of 200mph – but drivers need "proper wheels and tires" for an undisclosed additional cost.
It is too early to say how Wednesday's incident will now impact the sales of the new model. However, this is not the first time that Tesla has come under fire for its vehicles catching fire while on road. One recent incident happened in November 2020 in Frisco, Texas, where a Tesla Model S suddenly erupted into flames.
That said, it is also not known if the owner of the car is planning to take any legal action against Tesla. The attorney called on the company to take the Plaid Model S off the road until the incident is investigated.