Tesla's stock has been getting crushed lately in the wake of three separate incidents where a Model S has caught on fire, but one of those owners has taken to the company blog to defend Tesla and vowed he would "buy another one in a heartbeat."
Just two days after his car caught fire in Smyrna, Tennessee — the third Model S fire in the past six weeks — Dr. Juris Shibayama explained the circumstances behind the fire and echoed the company's continued claims that the fires are resulting from accidents and not spontaneous.
Driving about 70 miles per hour behind a truck, Shibayama hit a three-pronged trailer hitch in the middle of the road that he was unable to avoid in time.
About 30-45 seconds later, there was a warning on the dashboard display saying, "Car needs service. Car may not restart." I continued to drive, hoping to get home. About one minute later, the message on the dashboard display read, "Please pull over safely. Car is shutting down." I was able to fully control the car the entire time and safely pulled off the left shoulder on the side of the road. I got out of the car, and started to get all my belongings out. About 5-10 seconds after getting out of the car, smoke started to come from the front underbody of the car. I walked away from the vehicle to a distance of about 100 yards. More smoke started to come out of the bottom of the car, and about two minutes after I walked away, the front of the car caught on fire.
The owner wrote that he was completely uninjured and was never anywhere close to flames because they never reached the cabin.
"While driving after I hit the object until I pulled over, the car performed perfectly, and it was a totally controlled situation," he wrote. " ... This experience does not in any way make me think that the Tesla Model S is an unsafe car. I would buy another one in a heartbeat."
Before this latest incident back in October, a Model S caught fire in Mexico after it crashed through a concrete wall and into a tree; another caught fire after colliding with a large metallic object.
"For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid," Musk wrote after those incidents.
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