A Tesla exploded into flames on a Pennsylvania highway this week and spewed toxic fumes from its lithium ion battery for a considerable amount of time because it took firefighters a significantly longer period of time to extinguish the fire compared to vehicles that use a standard combustion engine.
The incident happened at approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 80 at the 137 mile marker, the Morris Township Volunteer Fire Company #1 said in a statement.
The fire reportedly ignited after the family that was driving the car ran over a piece of debris that caused the car to catch on fire. No one was hurt as everyone was able to quickly get out of the vehicle.
“As Engine Tanker 17 and Engine Tanker 19 arrived on scene it was quickly discovered that this was not your typical vehicle fire as crews quickly utilized just over 4,000 gallons of water. In total approximately 12,000 gallons of water was utilized,” the statement said. “To give you an idea of the severity, crews can normally extinguish a fully involved vehicle fire with approximately 500 gallons or less.”
“Due to the lithium ion battery on the vehicle, extinguishing this fire would require additional tankers as the vehicle would continue to reignite and burn fierce at times,” the statement continued. “In total it took crews nearly two hours of continually applying water on the vehicle as the battery would begin to reignite and hold high temperatures.”
Photos of the Tesla showed that it was completely eviscerated by the fire.
A Tesla caught on fire on I-80 in Clearfield County today. It took two hours of continuous water to put it out, according to Morris Township Fire Company. “This vehicle burnt so hot and long that if it was not for the rims you might not even of know it was a vehicle.” pic.twitter.com/2cX6TEX6y0
— Geoff Rushton (@GeoffRushton) November 16, 2022
The Columbia Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to assist the Morris Township Volunteer Fire Company #1 and Grassflat Volunteer Fire Company with trying to put out the fire.
The Columbia Volunteer Fire Company said that a considerable amount of water is needed even after the fire is put out to keep the batteries cool so they do not reignite.
Teslas have had myriad problems over the years ranging from knowingly selling cars that had a design flaw that could cause the cars to erupt in flames to cutting corners to ensure that vehicles had safe braking systems, Business Insider reported. Teslas have also been accused of having “faulty suspension” that can cause accidents.
While Teslas are insanely fast and the car’s instantaneous torque make it fun to drive, some have had problems with the car’s not working properly, quality issues, and awkward driving controls, like having to use a computer screen in the middle of the car to activate windshield wipers.
After Hurricane Ian hit Florida earlier this fall, numerous Teslas and other electric vehicles began spontaneously exploding because the salt in the seawater damages the batteries in such a way where they can erupt in flames, according to FEMA.
“In the following weeks, at least 12 EV fires were reported in Collier and Lee Counties,” FEMA said. “One on Sanibel Island burned 2 houses to the ground.”