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Scouring the Web there is a gang of posts about EVs burning to the ground. While a gas-powered vehicle is more likely to catch on fire, EVs continue to get bad press from fires. But this Tesla Model 3 fire-tale is different because the EV burned up from inside the car. So what happened, and why did it happen while on the road?

Where did the fire in the Tesla start?

Tesla fire
Tesla Model 3 mysterious fire | Facebook

The Tesla in question belongs to a Texas man who had just left the body shop to repair damage from an earlier accident. This particular Model 3 has seen its fair share of accidents leading up to its fiery demise. Front end damage from one accident, and then extensive damage from driving through high water was the second. The repairs for the second incident included replacing the rear bumper cover, wheel covers, and fixing damage underneath the EV.

Carscoops talked to the owner. He says that the Tesla appeared “just fine” just before what you see here. Having picked up his repaired Model 3, he was just 10 minutes away when he saw smoke rising from the passenger seat. As he drove, it got worse. He finally pulled to the side of the road within half a mile of first noticing the smoke.

Why isn’t it a crumpled, charred Tesla total?

Tesla fire
Tesla Model 3 mysterious fire | Facebook

From that point, the car’s interior caught on fire and the rest is history, as is the Tesla itself. The majority of EV fires we’ve seen result in a burnt husk of a car. A black charred mess almost unrecognizable as ever having been a car. This Model 3, however, has a mostly unscathed exterior with a completely burned-out cabin. The only charred paint you can see is on the roof. 

So this is a different set of circumstances, or at least it looks that way. Obviously, just leaving the repair shop, the cause could have been something done there. But what? The owner says only sensors in the bumper cover were replaced, as was a cover underneath the frunk. And he says an inspection of the battery after the fire found nothing wrong with the battery.

Is the driver OK?

Tesla fire
Tesla Model 3 mysterious fire | Facebook

Whatever happened, something got hot enough to start the interior on fire. Being an electric car, it has to have been a short in the wiring, or something related to the battery getting too hot. At this point, we don’t know if further action will take place to determine the cause. 

As for the owner, he is fine without any burns, making it out of the car safely. But he is in a hospital with breathing trouble, according to Carscoops. Yes, burning plastic, paint, and foam is nasty on the lungs. 

Check out the images he posted on a Tesla Facebook group and see if you can tell anything about what might have caused this well-worn Model 3 to flame out. 


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