Cars catch fire sometimes; it’s unfortunate, but true that both gas-powered and electric vehicles alike are occasionally susceptible to terrifying, dangerous issues with combustion. When those situations happen, however, we generally assume that carmakers have ensured their products include clear, easy-to-exit doors so that drivers can escape unharmed. But there’s Tesla.
As reported over at Electrek, a man in North Vancouver, British Columbia, claims he had to kick out the window of his Tesla Model Y last Friday after his relatively new purchase “pushed an error notification and then powered down” before beginning to smoke and eventually catching fire. “Everything stops. The power didn’t work. The door didn’t open. The windows didn’t go down so I’m thinking I need to get the fuck out of this car so I kicked through,” he reportedly told local emergency responders.
Although Electrek makes sure to note that all Teslas include manual releases “in plain view,” we imagine this could sometimes prove more difficult to locate if you’re, y’know, panicking as your car fills up with suffocating smoke and flames. Check out a video of the torched Tesla below.
Issues add up — Tesla superfans will probably grouse that we’re being too hard on Elon’s empire, but these sorts of safety issues need to be highlighted when the company continues to push its cars on wider markets while also recklessly increasing its Autopilot’s maximum speed, despite numerous concerns. As flashy as default electric doors and windows are for companies like Tesla, manual exit options need to be as clearly accessible as possible at any moment for situations like this one.
We’re not claiming Teslas catch fire more often than any other car — but you rarely hear of drivers in other companies’ products getting confused about how to escape during emergencies.
Everything is fine — Meanwhile, Musk continues to make grandiose, borderline absurdist claims about what his companies can achieve in the near future. Despite overwhelming evidence its self-driving tech remains woefully untrustworthy and dangerous, the Technoking recently hypothesized that his EVs will somehow be fully autonomous — as in, no human input whatsoever — by sometime next year. Given Musk’s track record for overpromising on full self-driving in the past, it’s hard to take those claims seriously — especially when the automaker clearly has some other hot issues to address first.