Tesla belonging to husband of US actor Mary McCormack catches fire in street

'Thank God my three little girls weren’t in the car with him'

Tom Embury-Dennis@tomemburyd
Tuesday 19 June 2018 09:50
Actress Mary McCormack shares video of husband's Tesla on fire

A Tesla belonging to the husband of US actor Mary McCormack has been filmed shooting flames from its undercarriage while parked on the side of a road in Los Angeles.

McCormack, best known for her role as Katie Harper in American political drama The West Wing, posted footage on social media of the car engulfed in smoke and fire on Friday.

“This is what happened to my husband and his car today,” she wrote on Twitter. “No accident, out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank God my three little girls weren’t in the car with him.”

In the 45-second clip, someone – possibly a police officer – can be heard warning onlookers to stand clear of the vehicle. It is unclear who recorded the footage, but a police dispatch radio can be heard nearby.

It comes amid mounting scrutiny for Tesla and the company’s founder, billionaire inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk, over the safety of its vehicles following multiple crashes in recent months.

A new report found a Model X car running on autopilot was accelerating as it hit a barrier on a California highway, killing the driver.

Crash investigators said the high-voltage, lithium-ion battery in the electric car was breached following the crash, causing a fire to break out as the wreckage sat by the roadside.

Mr Musk has previously lashed out at reports scrutinising Tesla car safety, saying the media focuses on its accidents while ignoring more frequent crashes of conventional vehicles.

A Tesla spokesperson told The Independent: “This is an extraordinarily unusual occurrence, and we are investigating the incident to find out what happened.

Our initial investigation shows that the cabin of the vehicle was totally unaffected by the fire due to our battery architecture, which is designed to protect the cabin in the very rare event that a battery fire occurs.

While our customer had time to safely exit the car, we are working to understand the cause of the fire. We’re glad our customer is safe."

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