Another Tesla Spontaneously Combusts, Killing Driver

When it rains, it pours, or in the case of Tesla, it spontaneously combusts.

Less than a week after a Tesla Model S erupted in flames following a “horrific” crash in Ft. Lauderdale, Flordia,, fatally trapping the two teenagers who died inside, in a similar accident to one that happened in Mountain View, California, last December, while a second Model S rammed a stopped Salt Lake City firetruck at 60mph, mercifully without any fatalities, the Swiss tio.ch reports that yet another Tesla has burst into flames after crashing on the A2 highway near Bellinzona, killing the 48-year-old German driver who, like the Florida ten nagers, was trapped inside because flames spread too quickly after the collision to permit escape or any rescue attempt.

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Tesla crash in Switzerland, note the total destruction of the car

According to the Swiss publication, the 48-year-old German driver, from Baden-Wurtermberg, lost control of the vehicle a few meters after the Monte Ceneri tunnel, crashing into the central guardrail, an accident that was remarkably similar to an October 2017 crash in Austria, in which a Model S also burned down, however without any fatalities.

The car then overturned and caught fire, fatally trapping the driver.

According to the Facebook page of the Bellinzona fire department, the flames were once again started by the lithium-ion batteries after the crash. The Fire department explains that “the violent impact of Lithium Ion Batteries could probably have caused a phenomenon called “thermal runaway”, i.e, a rapid and unstoppable increase in temperature (think in terms of a reactor core meltdown in a nuclear power station.).” It is becoming clear that the lithium ion batters used in electric cars are a highly unstable power source.

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It’s unclear if the car had its autopilot engaged at the moment of the crash, although now that both the NTSB and NHTSA are looking into last week’s tragic Tesla crash which killed two teenage boys under similar circumstances, we are confident the answer will be available soon. Several Tesla accidents have involved the car going out of control while autopilot was driving. This spate of accidents, along with others in self driving cars from other manufacturers is probably a bigger setback for the autonomous car nerds than electric vehicles in general

As was reported yesterday, Max Schwall, the Tesla exec who until last week had been Tesla’s “primary technical contact” with both the NTSB & NHTSA, resigned quietly and moved to Tesla’s competitor Waymo. Commenting on this departure, we wondered if it suggests that the “company’s troubles with government regulators may be set to escalate.”

Judging by the trio of crashes in just one week, two of which fatal, it’s a safe bet the answer is “yes.” This leaves Elon Musk’s dreams of world domination, like his cars in the crash scene pictures, in total meltdown.

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