It's been a pretty hot year for Tesla. Car of the Year awards, crazy stock price rise, and lots of media attention. Now, though, it may be getting a little too hot. As in, cars-going-up-in-flames hot.
We saw it happen in Washington when a Model S had its battery pack pierced by a metallic piece of road debris, and again in Mexico, when a driver (accidentally) tried his best to destroy a concrete wall, then a tree.
Well, it's happened again, this time in Tennessee, just outside of Smyrna. Yesterday afternoon, A Twitter user witnessed a scene, the likes of which is sure to break the heart of any Tesla fan: a Model S CarBQ. The fire seems a little less dramatic than the two previous incidents and Reuters is now reporting that, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the driver "ran over a tow hitch" that "hit the undercarriage of the vehicle causing an electrical fire." We can't say at this time whether the battery or high voltage systems were involved, or whether it was contained to the 12-volt system.
Tesla said the blaze occurred following an accident and has issued the following statement:
While we still feel this is a pretty ordinary sort of event for an automobile – thousands of cars burn every year in the US – it may still have an out-sized effect on Tesla, since appearances oftentimes count for more than they ought to. Although it's hard to be certain how this might be affecting Tesla's (TSLA) stock, especially after yesterday's dramatic fall, we note that it is down -6.81 percent further today at $140.87 as of this writing.
We have been in contact with the driver, who was not injured and believes the car saved his life. Our team is on its way to Tennessee to learn more about what happened. We will provide more information when we're able to do so.