This past April, a parked Model S in Shanghai caught fire for seemingly no reason at all. The harrowing incident, which was captured on video, occurred in a parking garage and generated a lot of unanswered questions about the safety of Tesla vehicles. Indeed, we’ve seen a handful of stories involving Tesla vehicles spontaneously catching fire in the past and, more often than not, we get nothing from Tesla aside from a quick blurb that a given incident represented an “extraordinarily unusual occurrence.”
The Shanghai incident, to Tesla’s credit, played out a little bit differently. Earlier today, Tesla released a statement about the cause of the fire and revealed that it resulted from a defective battery module. Notably, experts consulted on the matter do not believe the fire can be traced back to any type of defect in the overall design of the car.
Tesla’s statement was published on Weibo and was made after analyzing the car’s battery, the software the car was running at the time, manufacturing data, and more.
In the wake of the April fire, you may recall that Tesla in May rolled out a software update for Model S and Model X vehicles out of an “abundance of caution.”
“We are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles via an over-the-air software update that will begin rolling out today, to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity,” Tesla said at the time.
Tesla statement on Weibo also made a point of noting that Tesla vehicles are far less likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles.
What’s a little bit peculiar is that Tesla seemingly released a statement on Weibo exclusively and didn’t provide a version of its statement in English. In any event, video of the entire incident in question can be viewed below: