Tesla says investigating incident of parked car exploding in Shanghai – Reuters

What happened: US-based electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla said it is investigating an incident in which one of its vehicles caught fire in a Shanghai parking garage. A video of the incident went viral on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo with the hashtag “Tesla self-ignites.” The Model S burst into flames and exploded, damaging surrounding vehicles. Tesla said it had sent a team to the scene and that no one was hurt.

Why it’s important: The incident comes at an inopportune time for Tesla. The company is trying to revive its sales in China, which have flagged as a result of Sino-US trade tensions. Tesla is also due to hold an investors’ day on Monday focusing on autonomous driving. This is not the first time Tesla’s vehicles have caught fire in Shanghai. In 2017, a Model S self-ignited at a charging station in the city, destroying another Tesla nearby. Similar incidents have occurred in the US, both while stationary and as a result of a crash. The company has said previously that its vehicles are ten times less likely to catch fire than gas driven cars.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.