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When firefighters finished extinguishing it, very little of the car remained apart from metal body.
The sad part about this is that if this were any gasoline powered vehicle on fire, it would not be newsworthy. I’m almost positive it is not a battery fire since the bottom of the vehicle was not on fire, it seemed to be just the front end.
That seems like a vulnerability on the Model S battery design, something from the road hits the bottom of the battery. The fact that the battery was punctured, caught on fire, and a heat sensor detects the over-temp condition and notifies the driver is “amazing!” ? The fire is most intense just behind the front wheel, right where debris would kick up and puncture the battery. If an ICE car goes up in flames, and Fox News doesn’t report it, did it really happen? But I thought Tesla did a special packing job to avoid the thermal runaway in order to make it safer.

The Leaf has been out for years and sold many multiples more than the Model S yet I haven’t heard of any fires in the Leaf. And you drew this conclusion from, what… side impact rating for the rear seats, and battery degradation affecting another model year in another state?? It’s clear the battery (under the cabin) was NOT on fire here, NOR the motor (in the back).
2) the item run over got stuck in the wheel well and eventually ignited from friction with the wheels (because the driver, possibly having more money than brains) just kept on driving.
So its interesting… The battery in my Roadster is more well protected, but yet the Lotus body on which it is based will fall apart when hit.
Its interesting to compare this to the Volt crash that rolled over a few times, the insurance adjuster said they hadn’t ever seen a car so badly mangled without a fatality, and the driver walked away. It would be hard to throw a couple gallons of gasoline over a car and get it to burn like that. I trust that Tesla is a safe car, but this being a new technology (and driving a Leaf with my family on a regular basis) I prefer knowing more not less about fires and what might cause them.

The Model S’ battery extends quite a bit further front (it goes pretty much axle to axle), sits lower, and remains directly exposed underneath the vehicle to allow for swapping. Are you now suggesting that a person driving a 2013 Leaf over the same road debris would have been killed? The information surrounding this event will be clarified and discussed once all investigations and conclusions are made. In the gas powered car, we didn’t know the gas tank was punctured until the driver behind us got out of their car at a stop light and told us. The fact the Tesla computer warned the driver and provided the time to exit the vehicle is amazing!

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