Fatal Tesla Crash in Florida, Wreck Catches Fire Three Times
In June 2018, a Tesla Model S crashed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The car accident made headlines due to the question of autonomous vehicle safety, and due to the fact that the powerful batteries of the electric vehicle burst into flames not once but three times in the course of the car accident and incident.
According to official reports from the National Traffic Safety Board (NSTB), two teenagers will killed in the crash and one other was seriously injured. The vehicle is believed to have been speeding close to 120 miles per hour. After striking and bouncing off one wall, the vehicle apparently ricocheted into a second wall, came to a stop, and burst into flames. The initial blaze was extinguished with mass amounts of water and foam retardant.
When the vehicle was being removed from the crash site sometime later, the lithium-ion battery became unstable and once again caught fire. The second blaze was reportedly extinguished readily, but it was not the last. The batteries reignited after the vehicle was transported to a storage yard for pending investigations.
In response to the fatal Fort Lauderdale accident, Tesla released a software update that allows users to set a top speed limit when in autonomous mode. Drivers can choose any speed between 50 and 90 miles per hour. The lower limit would be useful for drivers who do not leave city or residential areas, and the upper limit is meant to prevent extreme highway speeds. It has not been announced at this time if the Tesla Model S was in self-driving mode at the time, or if the driver had intentionally accelerated to about 116 miles per hour in a 30 MPH zone.
(For more information about this recent news story, you can click here to view a full article from The Verge online newsgroup.)
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