A Tesla Burst Into Flames While Charging and Spread to a Nearby Home

Since the first car was designed, there have been fires. Some brands seem to have more issues than others, and Tesla may be joining that list. Over the years, there have been more than one Tesla to go up in flames, and while it’s not common enough to warrant an investigation, it is an alarming trend.

Just a few weeks ago, there was yet another Tesla vehicle on fire, and it almost burned down a house. So why are Teslas having issues, how common is it, and are Tesla fires harder to put out than gasoline-powered vehicles? Here’s what we found out.

This Tesla is on fire

Red Tesla building with a red car and two white cars in front of it with Tesla written in white.
Tesla building and cars | Getty Images

According to Fox News Business, on Tuesday, November 23, a Tesla caught on fire in Maple Glen, Pennsylvania. The fire reportedly started on the back end and quickly spread to the front. From there, the nearby attached garage of the owner’s home caught on fire.

ABC News Channel 6 reported that it was a white Tesla Model Y. At the time of the fire, it was charging outside. While there was damage to the garage, the house was primarily untouched. This was largely thanks to a quick response from the local fire department, who had the flames put out in a mere 30 minutes.

At this time, there is no official cause as to why the Tesla caught on fire. However, it’s not the first time a Tesla has gone up in flames.

This wasn’t a one-time incident

It’s unclear why Tesla vehicles are catching on fire, but it’s happened on more than one occasion.  We recently reported a Tesla Model S Plaid that went up in flames. It was reportedly “completely spontaneous.” This fire began in Haverford, Pennsylvania, on June 29, 2021.

There have been other Teslas that have caught on fire over the years. Despite this, the NHTSA hasn’t taken action yet. 

According to InsideEVs, “Back in 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said no to a petition asking for an in-depth, formal investigation of the Tesla battery management software, to find a link between recently updated software and the battery fire issue.”

One reason for this is most of the fires are taking place in China. There is also some evidence to suggest that the Teslas catching on fire are due to frequent fast charges and disconnecting too quickly. With that being said, there’s not enough evidence to prove this theory just yet.

Putting out a Tesla fire is no easy task

When a gasoline-powered vehicle catches on fire, it can be very alarming, but putting the flames out is relatively straightforward. Things become a little more complicated when it comes to a Tesla fire.

Business Insider reports that a Tesla fire in Austin, Texas used 40 times more water to put out than a gasoline-powered vehicle. They believe this is because Teslas use lithium car batteries.

The emergency responders who put the fire out reported that the lithium battery cells could lead to fire several hours after a crash. According to the Austin Fire Department Division Chief Thayer Smith, a typical gasoline fire takes 200 to 1,000 gallons of water to put out. When it comes to an EV fire, this total can increase to 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of water.

Considering there is no known cause for Tesla fires, there’s no real way to predict if and when a fire will happen. With that being said, while Teslas tend to make the news for catching on fire, they aren’t as common as some other brands. However, it makes headlines when a Tesla goes up in flames, so we tend to hear about it more.

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