The first thing EV advocates will tell you whenever a fire emerges is that they are rarer events than those involving ICE vehicles. Electric cars are also a minority, so the data has to be carefully checked. Even if EV fires are really more uncommon if you compare apples to apples, EVs are the ones trying to become mainstream. In that sense, any fire involving them deserves attention, such as this one in Pennsylvania.
The blaze occurred on the night of November 23. As 6ABC reported, the Tesla Model 3 was charging in the driveway of a house on the 1500 block of Temple Drive in Maple Glen. When the firefighters arrived at the scene, the fire had already damaged the garage. Luckily, they were able to prevent it from spreading to the house. No one got hurt.
6ABC said that the fire came from the back of the car. The video shows at least one explosion. That means that the battery pack was affected. If it were only a short circuit, we would not see such blasts.
This blaze reminds us of the fires that have affected the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric not long ago. There were two main similarities between them: the same battery supplier (LG Energy Solution) and the fact that many incidents started when the cars were charging.
Both these carmakers ordered massive recalls to replace the defective battery packs. Tesla has a different supplier (Panasonic), but that did not prevent the company from experiencing similar events. Tesla was recently accused of deploying an OTA update to conceal Model S and Model X battery packs issues. The company is trying to reach a deal with the customers that accused it of doing so, which means no investigation will be made.
Despite similar situations, we have never heard of any investigation from Tesla to explain what caused these fires while charging. We’d ask the company about them, but the EV maker does not have a PR department in the U.S. anymore. The Chinese and Norwegian PR departments do not answer.
If you happen to know this Model 3 owner or the circumstances in which the fire started, please let us know more about that. We’ll try to follow the police investigations related to it. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) could also want to take a look at this and previous fires, but it has recently denied an investigation about them. In other words, don’t hold your breath for that.