Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares took a beating on Wednesday, falling as much as 7 percent. A big downgrade from analysts at Baird and some fiery video of a Model S accident are likely to blame. Check out the video, which was posted on YouTube:


Auto blog Jalopnik also published photos of the wreck, which it said were submitted by one of its readers. The accident happened Tuesday on Route 167 in Washington State.

Tesla says fire was caused by a collision

As you can see from the video, the fire was contained at the very front of the Model S. It did not occur anywhere near the battery pack. CNBC reports that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said the fire was the result of the car’s collision with some sort of large metal object in the road. The automaker issued a statement to Jalopnik acknowledging the accident and stating that no one was injured.

The company said the alert system inside the Model S signaled a problem and told the driver to pull over. He was not injured, and he had plenty of time to get out of the vehicle safely and call authorities. After the collision with the metal object, the fire broke out and caused the damage to the vehicle. Because of the way the Model S is designed, the damage was contained to the front end. The fire department extinguished the fire at the scene of the wreck.

Fires in Tesla’s car have not happened much

You may remember that a few weeks ago that one journalist accidentally wrecked his wife’s Model S. Upon a visit to the body shop which does reports on the vehicle, he saw the results of plenty of different kinds of wrecks—but no fires. Specifically, he noted no fires in connection with the battery pack.

So at least for now, the video and photos of the fiery wreck appear to be the exception to the rule. Also depending on what the metallic object was, it probably wasn’t the vehicle’s fault either. The main parts of the engine aren’t even located in the front of the vehicle, which features a “frunk” for extra storage space.

Tesla earned the NHTSA’s top safety rating

Earlier this year Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) proudly revealed that it had received the highest crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—a rating which only 1 percent of vehicles tested ever receive. Of course that safety rating is based on the driver and passengers remaining safe in the vehicle in the event of various types of crashes. As you can see from the video, the passenger compartment of the Model S looks just fine.