The front of the car burst into flames, just minutes after it was towed to Los Gatos Tire and Auto Repair on University Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Then, later on, that evening, the car reignited at an auto shop in Campbell.
#BREAKING We have now moved to Campbell, where the same @Tesla Model S caught fire a second time. This was a 10 minute drive from where crews spent 6-hours, waiting on the car’s battery to cool. #abc7now #developing pic.twitter.com/VtSNkrg96R— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) December 19, 2018
The owner, who did not want to share his name, shared cellphone video with ABC7 News showing flames only moments after his car was towed to the Los Gatos Tire and Auto Repair lot.
"I go in there, doing the paperwork and I start hearing a funny hissing sound," the owner said. "I thought, oh, it must be something going on in the shop next door."
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Following the hissing sound came the smoke, then the spark.
Santa Clara County Fire was called out around 2 p.m. and quickly put out the blaze. However, crews recognized the potential for reigniting.
"Shortly after that, however, it was noticed that the vehicle was off-gassing," Capt. Bill Murphy explained. "Which is an indication that heat or a lot of energy built up in the battery still."
#NEW @Tesla owner shares this incredible video of his car catching fire. The Saratoga resident says he got the car 3-months ago, it only had 1200-miles. Follow this thread for details on how the situation developed. Also, watch at 11 pm. #abc7now #developing pic.twitter.com/hS7yzWJOwt— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) December 19, 2018
Crews spent nearly six hours waiting for the car battery to cool, before it was towed from the lot.
The owner explained he was driving along Highway 17 when a sensor went off, alerting him about a quick drop in tire pressure.
#LISTEN as the @Tesla owner explains the moments before his car caught fire. Says what started as a flat tire on Hwy 17, ended in the total destruction of his new Tesla. He’s grateful this didn’t happen at his home, while he and his wife were on vacation. #abc7now #developing pic.twitter.com/1aylVKuI8z— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) December 19, 2018
"Then, it said again it was dropping to 20. So then I pulled off," he said.
What should've been a routine flat fix, then turned into fire.
The owner says he purchased the car three months ago and drove the Model S only 1,200 miles.
More video, taken by witness Brad Basford, is being added to a growing album of fires involving Tesla vehicles. Santa Clara County Fire explained the vehicles run on electricity stored in battery packs in the floor of the vehicle.
"We train for vehicle fires, absolutely. Electric vehicles provide a slightly different component to that," Captain Murphy said. "In this case, the batteries just require a little bit different process for us to make sure the car's safe."
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Tesla released this statement to ABC7 News, responding to Tuesday's incident: "We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with local first responders. We are glad to hear that everyone is safe."
The Model S owner told ABC7 News, this is the last Tesla his family will own.
"If this had been in the house, and we were on vacation, and this thing caught fire in the garage, the whole house could go under," he said.
Santa Clara County firefighters say they will be stationing crews with the car all night to put out any more fires that may erupt.
Take a look at more stories and videos about Tesla.
.@sccfiredept, “Six hours didn’t do it...” Fire crews spent hours waiting for the battery to cool in Los Gatos. The car was then taken to Campbell where it reignited at 10 p.m. Crews are expecting to work overnight. #abc7now #developing @Tesla pic.twitter.com/GI2Fab5jnP— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) December 19, 2018
.@sccfiredept taking a closer look at the car’s undercarriage. FD says dept. disconnected the car’s battery in Los Gatos. Now, they want to remove it completely. Notice firefighters standing with a hose in hand. #abc7now #developing @Tesla pic.twitter.com/lxo7rmFYqY— Amanda del Castillo (@AmandaABC7) December 19, 2018