Who knew that Teslas now come with Elon Musk's famous "not a flamethrower" flamethrower included?
The Tesla Model S belonging to the husband of actress Mary McCormack spontaneously combusted in Los Angeles. In a late Friday tweet, the West Wing actress said that flames burst out of the undercarriage - most likely the car's battery compartment - while her husband was driving the car on Santa Monica boulevard in Los Angeles.
"No accident,out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank god my three little girls weren’t in the car with him"
@Tesla This is what happened to my husband and his car today. No accident,out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank god my three little girls weren’t in the car with him pic.twitter.com/O4tPs5ftVo— Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) June 16, 2018
In the 45-second clip, a police officer can be heard warning onlookers to "stand clear" of the car in case it blows. It was not immediately clear if McCormack recorded the footage, although police dispatch radio can be heard in the background.
The scene as recorded from a different angle:
The latest Tesla fiasco comes amid growing criticism of Musk's production methods and scrutiny for Tesla over the safety of its vehicles following multiple crashes in recent months, several of which deadly.
A recent NTSB report found a Model X car running on autopilot was accelerating as it hit a barrier on a California highway, killing the driver. Regulators said that the lithium-ion battery in the electric car was breached following the crash, causing a fire to break out as the wreckage sat by the roadside, then proceeded to reignite several days later.
It increasingly appears that the Tesla car battery is the car's - and company's - weakest link, prompting questions into the logic behind Musk's investment of billions of dollars into battery production facilities.
In a recent controversial outburst, Musk lashed out at reports scrutinising Tesla car safety, saying the media focuses on its accidents while ignoring more frequent crashes of conventional vehicles.
Alas, incidents such as McCormack's will not help the car's track record, especially if the Hollywood elite, led by anti-Trump resistance leader, Chelsea Handler, make it "uncool" for celebs to be seen in the spontaneous combusting sarcophagus. This is what an outraged Handler said in response to the burning Model S:
This happened to my bff today. Who drives 3 girls daily in this car. @elonmusk @Tesla I have the same model and make. So, how many of these are on the road?
Then later in the day, an even angrier follow up from Handler. Is the Tesla spell over Hollywood coming to an end?