A Tesla Model 3 vehicle ignited and exploded in Shanghai on Tuesday night, leaving just an empty shell but hurting nobody, a user of social media platform Weibo reported. The driver felt a collision at the bottom of the vehicle on the way to an underground garage, stopped and left the car to check, when he noticed smoke at the front. He was just able to remove his personal belongings.
Tesla told Beijing Daily that the impact damaged the batteries, leading to a short circuit that resulted in the fire. The company is cooperating with regulators and fire fighting officers to investigate the accident and also communicated with the owner to offer the necessary help.
This is not the first incident for Tesla in China. A Model S caught fire in April 2019 in a Shanghai garage, after which the EV maker updated the thermal management software for the batteries of the Model S and X.
“The incidents may have limited effect on Tesla, as the company has attributed the causes to external factors, not factors of the vehicle itself,” Zhang Xiang, an auto analyst with the with a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology-affiliated think tank in Beijing, told KrASIA on Thursday.
It happens as Tesla is handing over its first Shanghai-made vehicles to buyers. In the first three quarters of 2020, the firm earned USD 4 billion from sales in China, accounting for about 20% of its entire revenue.