Another Tesla crash, another knee-jerk overreaction on Wall Street

After a series of high-profile battery fires in Model S sedans last fall, CEO Elon Musk was quick to defend Tesla Motors’ safety record — and quick to decry the media frenzy surrounding each incident. It’s looking more and more like he had a good point.

In one crash last October, a driver in Mexico slammed his Model S into a roundabout at 110 mph before careening into a concrete wall and tree. The driver walked away. (Technically, ran away, as he was allegedly drunk.) But shares in Tesla took a severe hit, thanks to that and other crashes, plunging more than 28 percent by year’s end.

Tesla stock has recovered impressively this year, but are suddenly dipping again after a much-publicized July 4 crash, in which a stolen Model S split in half, sending burning and popping battery packs scattered across a Los Angeles street after plowing into cars and, ultimately, a lightpole at 100 mph.

In a predictable knee-jerk overreaction, Tesla shares have dropped more than 4 percent in the past two days, as investors freak out over the vision of burning battery packs. Tesla will likely have to go to PR damage-control mode to reassure skittish investors and potential buyers. But perhaps it’s better to take a Musk-ian view of the crash:

— The driver survived. Look at the photos of the crash scene and just try to imagine that.

Update: The driver later died. Still, if I was going to crash into a light post, I’d want to be in a Model S.

— While the battery packs did catch fire and explode, remember the car hit a lightpost at 100 mph and split in half. Under similar circumstances, it’s a safe bet that most cars — gas or electric — would end up ablaze too.

Last year, the Model S received a 5-star safety rating by the NHTSA, the highest marks ever given to a car.

In November, Musk railed against “false perception(s) about the safety of electric cars” in a blog post, noting that “the Model S is safer in an accident than any other vehicle without exception,” and that drivers “are more than four and a half times more likely to experience a fire in a gasoline car than a Model S.”

Neither Musk nor Tesla has officially commented on the latest crash yet, but spokesman Simon Sproule told Bloomberg News: “We’ve asked to take a look at the vehicle as soon as that’s possible. . . . There aren’t so many S’s involved in major crashes, and certainly not quite like this one, so we absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened.”

Of about 30,000 Model S’s that have been sold, six have caught fire in collisions. No Model S driver has been killed in a crash. In roughly 250 million gas-powered cars in the U.S., there were an average of 65,000 fires a year between 2008 and 2010, according to a federal report, with 300 killed.

Perhaps it’s time for us think about this rationally. GM stock doesn’t fall every time one of its cars crashes (though its stock is down more than 8 percent this year after revelations of a recall scandal that contributed to at least 13 deaths, which seems slightly worse than battery packs catching fire after a 100-mph impact).

Look, cars can be dangerous. But the Model S has proven that even if you drive it like a maniac straight out of “Grand Theft Auto 5,” you can walk away from a crash. There’s tangible evidence that it’s incredibly safe and sturdy. Personally, I tend to be dubious whenever billionaires talk about how great their product is. But in this case, I’m listening to Elon.

 

At top: The aftermath of the July 4 crash involving a Tesla Model S (black, in center) in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

 

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  • Jim5437532

    Years ago safety advocates warned that lithium batteries were flammable, explosive and could emit toxic fumes; yet Tesla fan boys hyped the Tesla batteries as being safe.

    Last week a Tesla and its driver killed 3 people and set their car on fire; yet Tesla fan boys are hyping the crash as an example that the Tesla is safe.

    Last week a stolen Tesla crashed in West Hollywood, broke in 1/2, bursts into an inferno, exploded, sent flaming shrapnel through the neighborhood, and spewed toxic fumes; yet Tesla fan boys hype the Tesla as being safe.

    Tesla’s poorly designed charge connectors have overheated, melted and burned. Poor manufacturing and poor quality control contributed to the problems. A fire department ruled that a Tesla charger was a possible source of a garage fire in California. Yet Tesla fan boys hype the Tesla as being safe & try to scapegoat the problems on wall outlets & house wiring..

    The software update that Tesla fan boys hyped as a “fix” for the universal mobile charger fire hazards, didn’t stop the UMCs from overheating, melting & burning..

    The recalled adapter, that Tesla fan boys hyped as not being a recall, still has not completely solved the problems. There still has been UMCs that have been overheating and melting.. Yet Tesla fan boys are hyping it as safe.. Elon Musk claimed that new adapters would be mailed out in two weeks after the recall was announced, Elon lied, it was more like two months. Elon Musk said the replacement adapters would have thermal fuses, he lied.

    Most modern light poles are supposed to be breakaway to reduce the amount of damage and injury during a crash., The fact that the Tesla was ripped in half, suggests that Tesla has structural weaknesses.

    How was the car stolen? Was Tesla complacent, did they leave “keys” where they easily could be stolen? Has Tesla skimped on safety by not keeping the “keys” in a lock box? Did the thieves exploit a security vulnerability in the Tesla model S. designs and/or in Tesla’s lax procedures/policies?

    The high-speed Tesla stolen car chase put public safety at risk. Was the high-speed chase really necessary? Wasn’t GPS tracking activated in the car? If so; shouldn’t have Tesla and law enforcement cooperated to intercept the stolen car instead of having a high-speed police chase?.

    If safety really was a top priority for Tesla, shouldn’t Tesla have a remote shutdown feature in case a Tesla is stolen and/or involved in a high-speed chase?. A remote shutdown command, could disable the drive train, & apply the parking brakes when the vehicle comes to a stop.

    Allegedly Tesla has secret service bulletins on safety issues like faulty brakes., If safety really was a top priority for Tesla, shouldn’t Tesla be transparent? Shouldn’t service bulletins, especially ones that are related to safety be readily available to independent service shops, educators, owners, customers, prospective buyers and the general public?

    Tesla lithium drive batteries more easily catch fire & explode after being punctured, then gasoline tanks. The Tesla is much like a Ford Pinto, yet Tesla is hyped as being safe. When only about 30,000 Tesla’s were made, 3 of them caught on fire and/or exploded from being in accidents or only running over road debris.. When only 30,000 Ford Pintos were made how many of them have caught fire and/or exploded from being in accidents or running over road debris?. In some respects the Tesla seems to be more dangerous than the Ford Pinto. How come Tesla is given favorable treatment?

    Teslas have been suddenly shuting off leaving drivers and passengers dangerously stranded in traffic; much like GM’s ignition switch problems; yet Tesla is hyped as being safe.. How come Tesla is given favorable treatment?

    There was a Tesla related fire in a garage in Toronto Canada. Allegedly the source of the fire was the Tesla. Is the fire department’s investigation done? If so, how come the findings aren’t widely known? The government & Tesla were investigating the fire. How come more detailed facts and results seemingly haven’t been disclosed yet? Is there a cover-up? Allegedly the Tesla wasn’t even charging, so does Tesla have some other design flaw that is a fire hazard?

    I think Tesla fan boys are being less than honest when they hype Tesla safety. It is sickening to see Tesla fan boys exploiting tragedies to shill for Tesla by spamming hyped Tesla safety..

    • sowhat

      - I heard the police stopped chasing the car pretty quickly. However, the driver just kept driving like a maniac.

      – The Tesla Toyota crash didn’t mention anything about a fire originating from the Tesla in the articles I have read. In fact, the Tesla driver walked away. I think most people would view this situation as it was much better to be in the Tesla than the Toyota….therefore viewing the Tesla as a safer vehicle. But…people can spin this any way they want to fit their needs….even if it doesn’t make any sense.

      – I haven’t heard (nor can find) anything about the Tesla’s shutting off in traffic.

      – The Tesla fire in Canada was due to faulty wiring by the electrician. Tesla then updated their adapter to deal with that situation. Basically idiot proof it for bad electricians.

      – I have seen a Tesla fire on video. But I have also seen car fires with gasoline and explosions. I would take a Tesla any day. Would I prefer better batteries that didn’t catch fire, could charge instantly, super easy to manufacture and have a 10,000 mile range? Absolutely. But we don’t have it yet. The good news is that as batteries improve, all Tesla needs to do is swap the old battery with the new. Can’t do that with most other vehicles.

      – I would like to know how the Tesla was stolen as well.

      – If you could remote shut off vehicles, I bet people would complain about that too.

      – Do you have any idea if that telephone pole was designed to “break away”? I have never seen one of those in my life. Every pole near me would cause MAJOR damage to any vehicle.

      – It’s amazing what people come up with.

      • 9Awesomeb .

        Excellent analysis. Dead on. And I can tell you did so with no agenda in mind. I appreciate that.

        • Jim5437532

          The truth hurts shills like you. You Tesla fan boys are very ignorant and dishonest. lol

          You shill for a greedy corporation that skimps on safety to manufacture overpriced dangerous defective products. You are in bed with big business and corporate greed.

          You clearly have a dishonest and greedy agenda.

          • sranger

            Jim,

            You must be a PPL (paid professional lier)

      • Jim5437532

        Have you been living under a rock? lol Tesla fan boys like you, don’t know much about the Tesla. Teslas are well-known for suddenly quitting and being very unreliable. George Clooney gave his Tesla Roadster away to charity because it kept on breaking down and leaving him stranded.

        Edmunds did a story on how their Tesla horrifically left them stranded. It was at night and the lights went out and they couldn’t move the car to safety because the parking brakes wouldn’t release.

        A plethora of Tesla customers have reported for stories about how their Tesla suddenly left them stranded, often dangerously.

        Not sure if the light poles for breakaway types, but judging by the photographs I suspect they were. The type of base, looks like a breakaway base. The light poles look largely unscathed, suggesting they are the breakaway type. If they were to break away type they probably would be badly bent, dented and torn.

        You have probably seen many breakaway light poles without realizing it. You’re probably just too ignorant about safety to recognize them.

        If you would to settle for an overpriced unsafe hunk of junk like a Tesla, that’s your choice. My standards are much higher.

        • sowhat

          I thought we were talking about the Model S. Then you bring up the roadster which was a first gen vehicle built upon an existing chassis. Tesla isn’t even manufacturing those anymore.

          – Edmunds was way off. Elon proved them so. But don’t let facts get in the way of your comment.

          – Those breakaway poles do sound interesting. Most around me are pretty solid and I have seen crashes where they have not broken away. But feel free to call me ignorant since you seem to be able to do that so freely. I hope you feel like a bigger man now.

          – Your vehicle standards might be higher supposedly but your commenting could use higher standards. Attacking me personally gets you nowhere. In fact, you no longer come across as a person who wants a general and honest debate. Instead you come across as a little child having a temper tantrum if other people don’t agree with you. Kind of reminds me of North Korea.

          – Here is a little tip I have for you. If you don’t want a Tesla….DON’T BUY ONE!!!!!

          • Jim5437532

            The truth gets your goat. lol

            You are a typical ignorant lying Tesla fan boy. You are lying out of both sides of your mouth, You claim you “I haven’t heard (nor can find) anything about the Tesla’s shutting off in traffic”, but then you claim that you know about Edmunds. Elon Musk is a pitch man and a liar. Elon Musk and you are proven wrong.
            There is plenty of customer complaints and facts to prove that you and Tesla are wrong.

            Breakaway light poles are very common. You’re another dishonest and ignorant Tesla fan boy.

            Your posts prove how ignorant and dishonest you are. lol

          • sowhat

            I can find plenty about Edmunds by doing a google search.
            I can find plenty about everything I have mentioned by doing a simple google search.
            I am unable to find anything using Google for the claims you make. Feel free to post some links proving your points.
            Have fun trying to prove your self worth by bashing things. I would rather be known as a Tesla Fanboy and being excited about new products compared to a Tesla Troll who just needs to feel needed by bashing what other people like. But hey…to each their own I guess.

          • sowhat

            BTW, writing hateful comments and calling people names doesn’t make you right. It makes you sound like a 12 year old troll who needs to go through puberty. If you want to be taken seriously in the future, perhaps you will want to change your strategy.

            Good day. I have wasted enough time responding to this drivel.

          • sranger

            You NEVER post the truth…..

        • sranger

          Did you whine like a little girl when Paul Walker was burned to death in a similar accident in a Porsche??????

        • Kevin

          IF you truly have any credible knowledge source which to base your outlandish and exaggerated claims, please post them.
          Until then, you have most certainly secured your position as the lowest of the internet trolls.

          You have no standards, except to try to bully and belittle others.

          Consider yourself ignored: now go back to your swamp.

        • Shaun Chapman

          Well, that was charitible of Clooney to give his lemon away to someone else that could afford it…

      • Codger37

        The driver was not a walk away.. he was injured and ambulenced away. He’d have been dead in 99% of gas cars. The cops got in an accident. The car dealer left the car in ‘demonstration’ mode and out for the taking. The critter took it in the wee hours and the guy seems likely to have been on crack or speed. Probably on the same night 50-100 gas guzzlers and hundreds of normal cars are stolen. Telse gets the treatment because interests want them gone. They are doing away with the ‘dealer’ model of selling (thankfully) and so both the makers and dealers are paying for hits like this guy to do the talking points. Ignore him.

      • sranger

        Thanks for trying but Jim boy does NOT care about facts as they do not support his irrational rants…

    • InconvenientTruthsYouHate

      I don’t own a Tesla, or Tesla stock, and don’t plan to any time soon. That said, I’d like to point out that gasoline is also highly combustible and explosive, and that gasoline cars go up in flame ALL THE TIME, too.
      So… what’s your point, other than to grouse and try to crash the stock?

    • Peter O’Brien

      Need I point out that the same lithium Ion battery that powers the Model S is also the same type of battery in your phone, tablet, laptop and a number of other devices. All of these devices get dropped all the time and there is certainly the fire potential… so… the next time your phone seems overly hot in your pocket you may want to think about the last time you dropped it.

      • Jim5437532

        Lithium batteries are well known in the scientific community for catching fire and exploding in devices like cell phones and computers. Tesla was foolish to mount such a lightly protected large lithium battery so close to the ground, it’s asking for trouble. Some Tesla drivers are liable to get in trouble driving through deep water. Lithium batteries and high-voltage often doesn’t mix well with water.

        When a high-voltage lithium battery life Tesla’s, it can cause an electric arc that is much hotter and faster than conventional fires.

        • Codger37

          While I love my SL from Benz, I see the Telsa as a better and far more eco sound alternative which I’ll get next.

          Your facts are quite a bit scripted and seen elsewhere. Hope you’re not infringing on copyrights.

          • Jon P

            Eco-sound alternative? You either pay for your pollution up front or by the mile. Your choice.

        • sranger

          So you thing an gas powered Phone or Laptop would be safer?????

      • Jon P

        Tesla is the only company that uses that model of Li-Ion cell, but good try.

        • Shaun Chapman

          we are talking Li-Ion not model of Li-Ion. Are you trying to say some Li-Ion battery are different?

    • Codger37

      Thanks your contribution. Should not you be posted as the US Auto Manufactuers Protection and Other Makers and Dealers smting committee?

    • sranger

      Trolling, Trolling, Trolling, RAW Hide!!!

      You post are a pathetic attempt at gravity defiance….

      You cannot post a bunch of lies and expect it to make any difference….

    • Shaun Chapman

      man you mention all types of infomration the gas power car could have also..emergency cutoff, no other car has ever been riped in half during a crash. lol

  • Steve H

    Thanks for this little oasis of sanity Mike.

    One question though…. you wrote 6 Model S have caught fire in collisions… I’d only known of the 3 last fall (Washington state, Mexico, and Tennessee) and this one on July 4th. Are there two other incidents you know of?

  • champ12

    My friend has Tesla Model S and I test drove it, I own a Benz and a GM car, I genuinely believe Tesla model S is one of the best car on earth right now trust me not biased I like both my Benz and GM a lot too. Tesla something very disruptive product, its gonna change the way we look at cars, the irony is that it dosent take even a drop of gas, beautiful car inside out and definatly the safest with kind of crash it went to, you have to see myth busters to know how horrific a 100mph crash can be, will definitely buy one once I can buy

  • ray

    Nice convertible civic

  • InconvenientTruthsYouHate

    OMG! I just heard that a Honda Civic was involved in a high-speed, negligent crash somewhere. Crash the stock! And OMG, here’s another headline about a Ford Taurus! Crash the stock! Mother of God, and here’s another about a VW Beetle. Crash the stock!!!1!!!!eleven!!!!
    People are idiots.

    • sowhat

      Great time for others to buy the Tesla stock. :-)

      • btc909

        My thoughts exactly.

  • cordilleran

    I don’t think the driver walked away from the July 4 crash, maybe the one the next day. According to news reports he was revived after thought to be dead by paramedics. I think he was lucky to thrown from the car since there is a good chance he would have been badly burned or killed if he had remained in the car.

    • David Hillman

      He was taken away by the police with minor injuries, the people in the Honda weren’t so lucky

      • cordilleran

        The last report from insideevs (3 days ago) said the tesla thief was still in critical condition. Where are you getting your info?

  • Bug S Bunny

    Across the world, how many gasoline-powered vehicles catch fire each day? Yet very few if any make the national news. Hmmmm.

    • Darryn Lee

      That’s because gas-powered vehicles has been around for over 100 years, and there are millions of them on the road. An electric vehicle is still relatively new, so the media will overemphasize an accident involving one.

  • Peter Mortensen

    Even the safest car on the road will some day make news about a fatal accident. Drive a Model S frontally into a big truck at 100mph and don’t expect to walk away from it. When any such freak accident some day happens involving Model S causing the battery to burn, the media will overreact, even any gas car would have burned more explosively with liquids spilling all over had it been involved in similar accident.

  • Codger37

    Telse is being given the old Apple treatment from the usual sources. The entrenched interests hate many of Telsa’s firsts and he (so far), is proving all the nay sayers wrong. I wish him well.

  • sranger

    Obviously any car involved in a wreck at these speeds can end in a fire….

    Paul Walker burned to death in a similar wreck in a Porsche Recently…. You did not see people calling for Prosche to be investigated because it was obviously a HIGH SPEED WRECK…

  • Peter

    If Paul Walker and Roger Rhodes crashed in a Model S, there is a higher chance they would be alive because it was the fire that killed them and not the from the impact of the crash.

    • sranger

      Exactly…

  • Grizzly Adam

    The driver lived, I would think that would have made the stock rise given the condition of the vehicle.

  • Geoff Bouma

    If the Ford F-Series was starting on fire at the same rate as Tesla’s cars are, there would be a fire every three days on a new truck and this would be going on for 30 years. I still think they are under-reacting.

    • Shawn Rappaport

      A lot of Ford’s vehicles do catch on fire, it just doesn’t receive the same media attention. More than 400 Ford cars have caught fire since 2000, many of which while sitting. A couple years ago, Ford recalled almost a million trucks/SUVs due to the potential to catch fire. Granted, Ford has a lot more cars on the road than Tesla does, but every time a Tesla catches fire the media reports it and the stock drops. Meanwhile, many Ford truck owners don’t even realize their trucks have been recalled and the media doesn’t say much about it at all. I’m not trying to knock Ford trucks as I think the vast majority are fine machines – but so is the Tesla Model S.

      • Geoff Bouma

        Your numbers mean nothing. There is a fire in a new Tesla for roughly every 10,000 they build. Ford builds 2 million cars and trucks per year. There are 40 or 50 million Fords on the Road. Do the math. Tesla is getting treated with kid gloves on this. Statistically, they are SUPER UNSAFE, yet sycophants like you are programmed by the media and Tesla to go around saying everything is fine. It is not fine.

        Statistically, you are much more likely to have a fire in a Tesla. By a factor of 10 or even 100 depending on the manufacturer you are comparing too. But hey, everything is fine! They have a super high crash rating! Just ignore the math and you will be fine.

        • jozopucik

          I dont believe that! I have worked in the automotive industry my whole carrier life and seen quite a bit. Tesla seems perfectly safe for me!! If people say otherwise they are just against it since its something new, something good and they dont want change.

          • Geoff Bouma

            You don’t believe math? I can’t help you there.

            Tesla’s Fire Ratio = 4 fires / 40,000 cars or 1/10,000
            They have sold probably one million F-Series for 2014 model year:

            If Ford had the same Fire Ratio on the F-Series:
            1,000,000 /10,000 = 100

            So are you guys telling me that a brand new Ford F-Series has burned up every 3.65 days since last July and nobody has even bothered to mention it? I am glad you guys have a warm fuzzy. I prefer to do the math.

            Keep drinking the Koolaid guys.

          • Shaun Chapman

            Well you can add and subtract but you have to have all the parts in the equation. Tesla 4/40k=1/10k. You are assuming all 40k car crashed. You also assumed all crashed at a high enough speed to catch fire. I’ll bet you that not one F150 is even wrecked every 3.65 days.
            Better information would be taking the total number of both cars crashed above a certain speed to find the difference.
            I can crash 1 million F150 at a speed of 40-60 and the fire rate would be pretty low…or take 1million f150 and crash them at say 100mph and that rate woudl go up.
            But you are already convinced on Tesla being a dangerous car and leave out important facts when coming up with stats.

          • Geoff Bouma

            I would love to hear that data. But you don;t have it, and for you to make speculation without that data is complete and utter BS. I guess I shouldn’t expect any better from readers of a paper based in Silicone Valley, but I am still shocked by your people’s ineptitude.

          • Shaun Chapman

            lol…Yes, you are assuming something crashed you take the total number of Tesla and F150 and compare it with no data. You only have the number of Tesla that started on fire, not the total number that crashed. You also dont have the total number of F150 that burned and total crashes. Yes, both hit road debree but the tesla is a family car with maybe 5″-8″ of ground clearance, the F150 is a truck and has maybe 14″-20″. i’d sya you coudl hit almost any road debree in a f150 adn you would be safer than any sedan. Thats why I say apple to apple also.

            With your analysis you are assuming the same ratio of F150 crash and also F150 aren’t designed the same as a Tesla. Of course the F150 has more protection from underside road debree as they are designed to go offroad. The Tesla has no extra protection as its designed for only road travel.

            Data I found was 28 million F150 sold from 1948-2008. also Over 500,000 f-150’s were sold in 2012, 885K sold in 2013 So not sure how you are getting 1 million sold in 6 month for 2014.

            Data provided..http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/f150_fires.htm

          • Geoff Bouma

            As expected, you have completely missed my point.
            1. I don’t have the data on F-Series fires. But it is not at the same rate as Tesla fires or I would have heard about it. Failures over a population is a valid statistical methodology.
            2. A bouncing trailer hitch is going to hit an F-series just as hard as it hit that Tesla. They also go offroad and work jobsites which would expose them to even more debris.
            3. I am not assuming anything. The Tesla is designed poorly. The Ford is designed well. Tesla had to change their design, which means that it was sub-par. How many more parts have a sub-par design?
            4. Even though you don’t understand the difference between a “model year” and a “calendar year” I agree with your data. I was just rounding it up. Based on your data the rate of Ford’s starting on fire would be:
            885,000/10,000 = 88.5
            365/88.5=4.12
            So yea, a 2013 Ford F-series would burn to the ground every 4.12 days if they had the same rate of starting on fire as the Tesla S does. Thank you for correcting my math.

          • Geoff Bouma

            As expected, you have completely missed my point.
            1. I don’t have the data on F-Series fires. But it is not at the same rate as Tesla fires or I would have heard about it. Failures over a population is a valid statistical methodology.
            2. A bouncing trailer hitch is going to hit an F-series just as hard as it hit that Tesla. They also go offroad and work jobsites which would expose them to even more debris.
            3. I am not assuming anything. The Tesla is designed poorly. The Ford is designed well. Tesla had to change their design, which means that it was sub-par. How many more parts have a sub-par design?
            4. Even though you don’t understand the difference between a “model year” and a “calendar year” I agree with your data. I was just rounding it up. Based on your data the rate of Ford’s starting on fire would be:
            885,000/10,000 = 88.5
            365/88.5=4.12
            So yea, a 2013 Ford F-series would burn to the ground every 4.12 days if they had the same rate of starting on fire as the Tesla S does. Thank you for correcting my math.

          • Shaun Chapman

            I included a link showing fires of F150’s that did ever crash. point it you did hear about everyone of those.
            Dont search gt3 fire or Ferrari fire. Some of those they only sell 250 models per year. Some % are higher than Tesla and no accident before those fires started

          • Geoff Bouma

            I agree, there are cars engineered worse than Teslas. Good point. It doesn’t make Teslas well engineered.

          • Shaun Chapman

            You missed the point. The Porsche GT3 and Ferrari are well engineered cars. Please tell me you dont think a Ford F150 is better engineered than a 150k+ car using carbon fiber, and other exotic materials. Both the above cars are engineered to run 200+ mph

          • Geoff Bouma

            You missed the point, a “well engineered” car or truck doesn’t start on fire at a rate of 1:10,000. We have different definitions of “well engineered” I guess.

          • Shaun Chapman

            Yes, we do. Crashing at 100mph provides a higher risk of catching fire. Also, all gasoline cars have gas lines that can rupture in an accident. I had a 2004 chevrolet and was in a 25-35 mph crash that ripped off my driver side front suspension. Guess what else was in that location…Fuel line. The fire department had to be called out to secure the area with fuel poring out of the car. Now imagine that same wreck was with another moving car and going 60-100mph. I’m 95% sure there would of been a fire

            even at that 35mph crash I was stuck in the car with fuel vapor filling the cabin. I had to exit out the passenger side as the drivers side woudnt open.

          • Geoff Bouma

            The bottom line is that your car didn’t start on fire. So a car spewing gasoline is less fire prone than a Tesla.

          • Shaun Chapman

            well yea a 35mph crash is less prone to catching fire. It also helped that the car had only been running for 2-3 minutes. wasn’t fully warmed up.
            Please list the Tesla cars that started on fire that crashed at 35mph. I know there have been 4 but not sure on the history of the fires

          • Geoff Bouma

            So does Tesla hire you to argue on the internet or do you just do it for fun like me. You see, I prowl the internet so that trash reporting like this gets called out for what it is. What’s your excuse? Employee? Tesla driver? It just amazes me how much work Tesla puts in to keep people from having negative opinions. Because statistically, this car is a fire-prone. And you can argue with me tell the end of time, but you can’t argue with math.

          • Shaun Chapman

            I own a Ford Mustang and BMW 335. Have nothing to do with Tesla besided have sold some TSLA options. My argument is you didn’t include all the facts in the math equation. You just take a number of total cars sold and the wrecks you have read about and say thats it. Totally wrong! 1. you would need to find out how many cars wrecked 2. come up with a specific requirements as look at only accidents over 50mph.

            You take Tesla total sold and say 1 in 10k and you dont even know the Ford numbers and just assume its lower since you haven’t read about it. Also, you need to work off a wrecked number and not just total sold.

            The F150 and Tesla both passed the national crash test standards.

            example: 1,270 Carrera GTs have been sold since its introduction in late 2003. To date, 604 have found homes in North America. ( this is based on one news story, there could be other GT that burned I did do the research)
            So the total or US total sold and thats 1 in 1270 or 1 in 604 that caught on fire. I dont see an uproar over Porsche

          • Geoff Bouma

            You have now made my point completely. There are two standards for car safety. One for mass producers, one for niche producers. If mass producers of cars had faults at the same rate of niche producers, they would be shut down. But niche producers like Tesla, Porsche, and Ferrari get away with it every day. And poorly written op-eds like this support them.

            The point of this article is that wall street was over-reacting. I said and say that they have not yet begun to react properly.

          • Shaun Chapman

            Porsche and Ferrari niche producers? we have different standards. Porsche sold 162,145 in 2013 yea, its not as many as the cheap F150. but I’d expext that since you can buy 2 F150 for the price of the cheapest porsche
            F150 25K
            Boxtser 51k

          • Geoff Bouma

            COnsidering it takes porsche a year to sell what the top 4 or 5 OEM’sl in a month, yes I call them niche.
            You really need to take some math classes. I can’t help you anymore.

          • Shaun Chapman

            Again another apple to oranges comparison to make a point. well yea, porsche is gong to sell fewer car since the cheapest is 50K+ and go up to 800K . The top 5, sell cars in the 15k to 23K range for the average person more are going to get sold.

        • sranger

          I understand, you discount the actual fact base numbers because it does not support your irrational rant….

        • Michael Artis

          Why are so insolent and ignorant. The numbers do mean everything because there a smaller pool of tesla vehicles than ford. You go and crash any ford you want at 100 mph and see how that turns out. No car besides and F-1 racer car would not catch on fire.

          Also consider that none of the model s drivers have been killed by the fires. And WALKED away from the crash. That’s an amazing achievement in today’s car world. Who cares the car burns, as long they can get out safe all bets are off. The funny part is that I’m not even a tesla fanboy who will defend them for any stupid reason. I love gas cars and don’t see myself buying a tesla anytime soon (

        • Shaun Chapman

          comparing apple to oranges…Tesla wrecks that cought fire have been major some over 100mph. How many F150s wreck do you see going over 100mph?
          Tesla passed the safety standards and received a 5 star rating. Do you really think they would have given it that rating if it didnt pass?

    • 9Awesomeb .

      Has Tesla had even ONE Model S spontaneously catch on fire? The F150 has done it quote often. And ZERO out of any number is < many out of millions.

      Just google "f150 fire" and you will see tons of F150 fire articles. Again, these weren't caused by crashes like the Teslas, they just spontaneously ignited.

      http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/automotive/ford_cruise_control-00042.html#.U70qcyiGrZc
      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/27/automobiles/27FORD.html?_r=0
      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?360491-Ford-F-150-s-and-fire-hazard
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-01/ford-recalls-f-150-trucks-for-corrosion-of-fuel-tank-straps.html

    • sranger

      Actually the F150 has a HIGHER % rate of fires….

      The worst one was from a bad cruse control relay…

      • nx1p

        Which has nothing to do with the fuel right? That does not count just like the house fires cause by the Tesla charging system does not count.

  • btc909

    If the guy was driving a dino burner he either would have been dead or seriously injured.

  • Kent Beuchert

    As long as Tesla continues to use primitive lithium batteries , any crash is likely to be a fiery crash. Obviously those govt safety tests neglected to test for a car that contains 6800 lithium batteries inside. Tesla would have flunked that safety test, big time. So now the Silicon Valley journalists are on a cover up mission….. The fact that the new gas powered Elio car will reduce carbon emissions 3 1/2 times more than a Tesla shows just how braindead a Sillicon Valley electric car can be.

    • sranger

      All four fires have had OBVIOUS and unusual damage. There have been many bad wrecks and no fires so you opinion is not supported by the facts…

    • ToastyFlake

      Yes, primative lithium batteries as opposed to the ultra-high technology of gasoline. What have you been smoking?

      • nx1p

        Physics is physics. The power density of lithium is no match to the power density of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons don’t explode into flames when it is simply exposed to oxygen (its what is in the air) lithium does. Hydrocarbon needs an ignitor. Lithium simply ignites.

        • Shaun Chapman

          Yep, like a nice hot engine or exhaust manifold

        • Bryan C. Winter

          your correct on the physics, but there are engineering advantages to electrics.

          Low numbers of moving parts, huge crumple zones, instant torque, When you add them all up, a compelling electric is totally possible, which was the point of Tesla. To prove it was possible.

          I’m not an Eco-geek. You wouldn’t catch me dead in a Prius. But Tesla’s are sexy cars of their own accord. Now lavish 100 years of capital investments onto an electric platform the way we have for gas, and I think it’s possible to engineer around the energy density problem. In fact it’s totally physically possible to make batteries that store more energy than hydrocarbons.

    • Homer

      Careful Silicon Valley might cry.

    • Kelvin Barnes

      Comparing a single seat tricycle with a 5-seat car doesn’t work for me.

    • Kelvin Barnes

      Comparing a single seat tricycle with a 5-seat car doesn’t work for me.

  • jozopucik

    Nice article, people should realize the Model S is simply good. They should stop mocking the Tesla brand just because Musk did something new, revolutionary and ECO friendly. They should realize the potentional in this and work with it not against it.
    Really all crashes were severe and I see nothing unussual in them. I have worked at a dealer ship for years and seen thousands of crashed cars with much lower speed and believe me when I compare it, Tesla rocks!!

  • Bill Jensen

    Perhaps if enough shares of TSLA were involved, the profits from a short sale could justify the expense of purchasing a Tesla and crashing it.

    • Shaun Chapman

      Well if you are stupid enough to crash a car on purpose going 100mph…

  • ToastyFlake

    It seems like the result of this crash, and others, is a testiment to how safe the Tesla is.

  • ToastyFlake

    It seems like the result of this crash, and others, is a testiment to how safe the Tesla is.

  • Jeff

    With this for and against arguments I wonder if this is what it was like with the steam vs gas argument.

  • Roto3

    Wall Street should be called Small Street. Small, short term thinking. Or perhaps, no thinking.

    • Bryan C. Winter

      Wall street is incredibly forward thinking on Tesla, and it’s valuation is far higher than it’s profitability would indicate. I remember reading somewhere that it would need to sell 500,000 Cars a year to justify it’s current price. It’s actually incredible that a small company like Tesla is worth so much, as opposed to so little.

      That is of course, the market disruptor premium. People are betting it’s going to get bigger before it gets smaller. 4% price drop does not a crisis in confidence make.

  • Fingerlakes54

    The oil boys–traditionalists –and commodity brokers are always seeking damaging news about the Tesla car series. This car is a game changer–and they know their days of controlling prices are coming to an end. I have owned a Ford Pinto which would explode if rear-ended–and a Lincoln Town Car that would also explode if rear ended. It was big news at the time–but Ford found a cheap fix for this situation. The Tesla’s do not explode and allow the driver and passengers to get away from danger. The Tesla is much safer than many could believe. An occasional bad news day will not stop the quest for safety and non petroleum cars. Oil can still be used for making plastics and lubrication. As a fuel for transportation–oil is a “Dead Man Walking”.

  • Homer

    Tesla the new Corvair! Where is Ralph Nader?

  • Miss Stern

    Wow. If the media held the gas-car companies to the same standard as Musk and Tesla – they’d all be out of business by now. What a terrible media we have.

  • nx1p

    Sorry Gas cars are safer. The author incorrectly assumed that ALL car fires were cause by gasoline. The same report he refers to indicates that only 2%, yes 2% of those fires were caused by gasoline. Most were cause by mechanical/electrical or human (smoldering butt on the rug) failures. The author has shown a complete disregard for proper representation of statistics. When comparing fires cause by FUEL, Tesla is 10 times worse the gasoline powered vehicles.

    • Shaun Chapman

      And you provide zero proof. any links to facts. so around 5 Tesla have cough fire worldwide after crashes. How many Tesla dont catch fire after a crash. I have seen that informaton. Also how do they get a 5 star safety rating if car catches fire in a wreck?

    • jason

      Wow, pulling numbers out of thin air much?

      • nx1p

        Go look it up. There are lots of fires but very few related to the fuel itself. The author grouped all types of vehicle fires, not just fuel related fires.

  • nx1p

    Tesla killed the 3 children and one adult in the Tesla/toyota crash. The fire started by the Tesla battery pack quickly engulfed the Toyota killing four people. If it had been a normal car, the fire would not have started.

    • Shaun Chapman

      How do you know? other cars use gas

    • Thomas Oldbury

      The Tesla didn’t burn, just look at the photos. The toyota burned as a result of the tesla smashing into it.

 
 
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