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Man buys top-of-line Tesla — and 3 days later becomes trapped as it catches fire during drive and burns to the ground
Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Man buys top-of-line Tesla — and 3 days later becomes trapped as it catches fire during drive and burns to the ground

A man's Tesla Model S Plaid electric car burst into flames on Tuesday while he was driving, Reuters reported — and the fire broke out just three days after the man took delivery of the top-of-the-line Tesla.

In June, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the new sedan is "faster than any Porsche, safer than any Volvo."

What are the details?

Mark Geragos, an attorney for the driver — identified only as an "executive entrepreneur" — said his client was driving when he noticed smoke, and soon, fire.

Geragos told the news agency that his client was initially unable to free himself from the vehicle as the flames shot across the vehicle because its electronic door system failed.

The man instead had to "use force to push it open" and was eventually able to extricate himself from the vehicle, which quickly erupted in a "fireball."

"The car continued to move for about 35 feet to 40 feet ... before turning into a 'fireball' in a residential area near the owner's Pennsylvania home," Reuters reported.

Geragos told Insider that his client "had not done anything to damage the car and that the incident seemed 'completely spontaneous.'"

He also told the Washington Post that the car became completely engulfed just moments after the man was able to free himself from the vehicle.

"It was a harrowing and horrifying experience," Geragos said in a statement. "This is a brand-new model. ... We are doing an investigation. We are calling for the S Plaid to be grounded, not to be on the road until we get to the bottom of this."

Reuters noted that a spokesperson for Tesla "did not have an immediate comment" on the incident.

What else?

Insider reported that in a since-deleted post, Pennsylvania's Gladwyne Volunteer Fire Company took to Facebook where it stated that first responders "kept water flowing to the battery pack for close to 90 minutes to cool it down."

According to CNBC, two crews of firefighters worked at the scene for over three hours dealing with the fire.

Geragos did not state whether the man is considering legal action against Tesla.

A pattern seems to be emerging in recent years with regard to Teslas catching fire, as its lithium ion battery pack — which is on the underside of the vehicle — can easily overheat following collisions. Teslas, unfortunately, have also spontaneously burst into flames on occasion even when the vehicle isn't being driven.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it is in the process of gathering information on the incident, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

“NHTSA is aware of the Tesla vehicle fire in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania; and the agency is in touch with relevant agencies and the manufacturer to gather information about the incident," a spokesperson said. “If data or investigations show a defect or an inherent risk to safety exists, NHTSA will take action as appropriate to protect the public."

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