Tesla Bursts Into Flames After "Violent Crash" In Switzerland, Killing Driver Trapped Inside

When it rains, it pours, or in the case of Tesla, it bursts in flames.

In the same week in which a Tesla Model S erupted in flames after a "horrific" crash in Ft. Lauderdale, fatally trapping the two teenagers who died inside, 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 burst into flames after crashing on the A2 highway near the town of Bellinzona, killing a 48-year-old German driver who was trapped inside.

According to the Swiss publication, the driver, a 48-year-old German motorist 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."

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 to last week's tragic Tesla crash which killed two young men under similar circumstances, we are confident the answer will be available soon.

And yet, Matt Schwall, won't be there the reveal it: as we reported yesterday, 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, we are willing to go on a limb here and answer "yes."


nmewn Tarzan Mon, 05/14/2018 - 20:16 Permalink

I'd be willing to bet, statistically speaking, it's safer to hold a lit Fourth of July sparkler to ignite the vapors of your tank while fueling up at a gas station than to drive a Tesla. 

Geeves, run those numbers for me and get em back to me pronto! ;-)


In reply to by Tarzan

fx SACRED-COW Tue, 05/15/2018 - 06:55 Permalink

I start to see the synergies between Musk's flamethrowers and his car business and space x.

Ultimately everything going up in smoke, burning billions of $$ and a couple human guinea pigs in the process.

So much for lying Musk being the world's savior. He should be locked up for his serial violations of SEC rules alone, and in addition for these bonfires that his jokes of a car seem to ignite on a daily basis.

In reply to by SACRED-COW

Escrava Isaura Richard Chesler Mon, 05/14/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

Few weeks back I was at the lights in a four lanes road in Bethesda/Rockville in Maryland and this Tesla that was coming from opposite direction crossed the grass and its water ditch, bounced off the ditch, crossed right in front of us at the light and hit the guardrail in our side of the road.

It looks like that the driver lost either power or break and he had to ditch the car. He was luck that we were at the red light.


In reply to by Richard Chesler

techpriest Moe Hamhead Mon, 05/14/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

I didn't either (I do not downvote unless it's a stizzazz/beepbop type spammer), but probably just because of who he is.

What is interesting to me, however, is that EI's avatar is Brazilian, but Bethesda/Rockville == Washington DC. Lots of agencies are up there - I'm most familiar with NSF/NIH from when I was in grad school. What brings you to DC, Escrava?

In reply to by Moe Hamhead

Escrava Isaura techpriest Tue, 05/15/2018 - 03:49 Permalink

Because DC Metro Area is a great place to live.

Cost of living is not insane as in Boston and San Francisco.

Getting the errands done are not as crazy as New York City and Chicago.

The Federal government and all the embassies are here, meaning many parties and functions to attend. Rich, culturally and socially speaking.

Lots of jobs, after all, capitalism can’t function without jobs. Capitalism without jobs is called anarchy and deprivation.

The communities here take care of its residents. There are lots of associations as well as community health clinics.

DC Metro Area is not perfect but still a very civilized place to live, even if you don't have money or you're working poor.


In reply to by techpriest

OverTheHedge NoDebt Mon, 05/14/2018 - 15:14 Permalink

The other day someone posted your nailgun causing a lithium battery to instantly catch fire: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yzBFCufUDq0

My question is: if you sauntered past a Tesla vehicle, and "accidently" popped a nail through a side panel, into the battery compartment, would exciting things happen? Any chance you could try it out and report back? I would, but I don't own a nailgun.

Thinking about it - any high-speed impact should do it, so any kind of gun would be fine. Could this be a new sport? Highway sniping of electric vehicles, for fun and profit.

In reply to by NoDebt