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Here’s the setup: Someone stole a Tesla Model S in L.A. and went for a joyride that turned into a police chase and resulted in a horrific multi-car crash. The Model S itself ended up ripping in two, with the front part of the car and the rear completely separated. It looks as if the rear of the vehicle embedded into the side of a building.

Worse, the smashed car burst into flames, apparently due to the battery being compromised. Tesla’s battery catching fire after a trauma has been a problem before, and the company re-engineered the housing this spring to better protect the battery in the event of crashes.

Tesla Model S accident

Granted, this particular crash was a true anomaly; there’s a huge difference between a high-speed police chase collision and getting rear-ended in a parking lot. Still, Tesla is reportedly working with L.A. police and fire departments to investigate the accident.

Tesla Model S

Tesla is using this as an opportunity to examine the effects of a crash on its vehicles. “There aren’t so many S’s involved in major crashes, and certainly not quite like this one, so we absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened,” Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule told The Rakyat Post.

I think it's EXTREMELY important to point out: Absolutely nobody died in this crash, not even the person that stole the vehicle.


this is the third crash where a tesla catches fire.. there are not many tesla crashes due the amount of cars on the street but this seems to be an issue..what would be good to know is how much time passed between the crash and the fire..


@MichaelCramer Thanks for pointing that it; that's amazing considering how horrible the photos of the crash scene are.

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The driver of the Tesla lived!?! how! at those speeds!? The fire must have started late enough for him to exit the vehicle? Wow just wow!

I was involved in a 5 car accident on Thursdays. Stupid woman was txting and ran a red light into the intersection in a huge GMC Yukon. The car next to me and I both t-boned her at the same time throwing her into 2 other cars and a flower shop. Luckily a car on the other side of the intersection has a Dash Cam and recorded nearly the whole thing! My Fusion might be totaled 😞.


Glad that you survived sevags.

That Yukon must have been like hitting a wall.


@Anonymous - Not really an issue, if you look at some statistics. In the US, there are 250 million cars on the road and about 250k car fires every year. which pretty much means every year 1 out of every 1k cars catch on fire. Tesla has about what? 30k cars on the road? Looking at those numbers 3 out of 30k (1 out of 10k) is actually very very good. It just gets a lot more publicity because it is a Tesla.

That said, those kind of major accidents are pretty rare, because no sane person goes over 100mph in an urban setting outside of video games. Looking at other photos, half the car got stuck inside a building even. A real mess.


Tesla has ~35k cars on the road, so 3 is a VERY acceptable number if you ask me. Besides - this guy snapped the car into half!


Yes, i know..but 3 cars catching fire after a crash is something to consider, not among the cars on the streets.. I mean, the crash cases that ended up in a fire.. Maybe is just coincidence but is not something people would just let go in toyota or ford


My point is not that tesla is a low quality car..but I work with batteries and.. They need to be handled with care.. Maybe warn owners about the risk of overheating in case of a crash, there is a case in merida mexico, the car was in a turn, and hit a tree, not passing the 60kph..


As you see the car was almost intact, it wasnt a massive crash damage


Geez sevags, glad you made it out in piece!


The driver of the vehicle is being said to have been thrown out of the car when it ripped into 2.


It would seem most of the fires, are from front damage, while this one looks to be the middle of the car.  The fires "look" pretty localized, though intense.


Sounds like a very major accident sevagsHope you didn't get injured majorly (or at all).  GL on all that proceeds from it.


If the batteries are penetrated then there will be a thermal problem due to 400 Volts being short circuited...Simple as that. This latest fire was due to the battery pack being split in half...because the car was split in half...