In what can hardly be encouraging news to all the cult members holding the priced to immaculate conception Tesla stock, the unverified YouTube video clip posted yesterday showing the Tesla Model S aka "the safest car in America" (how is that kickbacks-for-awards thing at NHTSA going anyway?) engulfed in a flaming inferno, has just been authenticated by Tesla, and what's worse not only was there indeed a fire but it originated in the worst possible place: the battery pack. Where it goes from worse to worst is that once on fire (the car, not the stock) "water seemed to intensify the fire." It remains to be seen if the new and free car option: "Spontaneous Combustion" will have a similar effect on the company's stock.
A fire that destroyed a Tesla electric car near Seattle began in the vehicle's battery pack, officials said Wednesday, creating challenges for firefighters who tried to put out the flames.
Company spokeswoman Liz Jarvis-Shean said the fire Tuesday was caused by a large metallic object that directly hit one of the battery pack's modules in the pricey Model S. The fire was contained to a small section at the front of the vehicle, she said, and no one was injured.
Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. fell more than 6 percent Wednesday after an Internet video showed flames spewing from the vehicle, which Tesla has touted as the safest car in America.
The liquid-cooled 85 kilowatt-hour battery in the Tesla Model S is mounted below the passenger compartment floor and uses lithium-ion chemistry similar to the batteries in laptop computers and mobile phones. Investors and companies have been particularly sensitive to the batteries' fire risks, especially given issues in recent years involving the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car and Boeing's new 787 plane.
It gets better: just as the Fisker Karma was found to have a Gremlin-like attavism toward water, especially in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy when underwater cars would suddenly catch fire, so the Tesla S
In an incident report released under Washington state's public records law, firefighters wrote that they appeared to have Tuesday's fire under control, but the flames reignited. Crews found that water seemed to intensify the fire, so they began using a dry chemical extinguisher.
Yeah, when water "intensifies" a fire, you have a big problem, safest car in the world award notwithstanding. The bad news continues:
Firefighters arrived within 3 minutes of the first call. It's not clear from records how long the firefighting lasted, but crews remained on scene for 2 1/2 hours.
Tesla said the flames were contained to the front of the $70,000 vehicle due to its design and construction.
"This was not a spontaneous event," Jarvis-Shean said. "Every indication we have at this point is that the fire was a result of the collision and the damage sustained through that."
Ironically, every one has already made up their mind about what caused the fire, even though "There was too much damage from the fire to see what damage debris may have caused, Webb said."
In other words, let's come up with anything that prevents the stock from getting obliterated now that the most overpriced car company in the world is suddenly the recently bankrupt Fisker Carma.
For those who missed the video, here it is again.