Tesla explosion in Shanghai
25 Apr 2019

Electric car maker investigates viral video of exploding Tesla in China

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Tesla says it has sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding. This is the the latest of several incidents involving Tesla's cars.

The video was time-stamped Sunday evening and was widely shared on China's social platform Weibo. The video shows smoke coming from the parked car, then it burst into flames seconds later. A video allegedly of the aftermath of this fire showed three cars completely destroyed.

The origin of the videos, which Weibo users said were taken in Shanghai, has not yet been verified by independent sources. The cause of the explosion could also not be immediately ascertained from the videos. The video of the explosion came just as Tesla had recently ramped up their marketing campaign in China, according several international media.

"We immediately sent a team on site and we're supporting local authorities to establish the facts. From what we know now, no one was harmed," Tesla said in a statement on Monday, but declined further public comments. 

At least 14 instances have occurred of Tesla cars catching fire since 2013, most of them after a crash, according to Reuter´s News Agency.

The Tesla company claims its cars are  around 10 times less likely to experience a fire than traditional petrol-powered cars. Tesla does not, however, specify if that statistic refers to normal use or if it refers to cars that have been involved in accidents.

In a separate, unrelated incident, Tesla's rival in China, Nio, said in a social media post that an ES8 electric sport utility vehicle caught fire on Monday in a Nio service centre in the central city of Xian while under repair.

"Nio has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire," Nio said, adding no one was harmed during the incident.