Tesla Model S Explodes After Crash, Injures 3 People

Daniel Fowler
August 13, 2019

A Tesla electric vehicle on Saturday caught fire after crashing into a tow truck on a Moscow motorway.

Footage published by a Moscow resident on Instagram and later shown on state TV channel Rossiya 24 showed two explosions taking place in quick succession and the auto being engulfed in flames and emitting black smoke while heavy traffic passed beside it.

The company stood by safety claims for its Model 3 last week in the face of regulatory scrutiny, while documents showed the top US automotive safety watchdog issued at least five subpoenas since previous year seeking information about crashes involving the company's vehicles.

The vehicle slammed into a tow truck that was parked by the interior divider on a highway at around 9 p.m. local time, Reuters reported.

In the wake of each incident, Tesla has taken the opportunity to remind the public that a driver's hands should always remain on the steering wheel while Autopilot is activated. The incident occurred in Moscow and the driver - named Alexei Tretyakov - noted that the vehicle was on Autopilot at the time of the crash. Shortly thereafter, the Tesla caught fire with the flames ultimately destroying the vehicle entirely.

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The driver, Alexei Tretyakov, 41, said he was traveling at the speed limit of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour when he veered into the tow truck. The driver suffered a broken leg in the collision while the children were left with bruises, the news channel reported. Fortunately, all three managed to escape the vehicle before the two explosions.

A Tesla Model X cashed into a barrier on a California highway in March 2018, resulting in the death of its driver. Tesla also says the feature enhances the safety of its vehicles and makes them less likely to catch on fire compared to gas-powered vehicles.

Tesla's Model 3 sedan.

Tesla was not immediately available for a comment on the incident outside normal business hours.

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