Tesla Car Battery Fire Attorney

During the last week of June 2021, a Tesla Model S caught on fire in Pennsylvania while the owner was driving his new car. The car was delivered about a week before it caught on fire. The driver stated that he noticed smoke coming from the back of his car. When he tried to stop and exit his car the doors were initially locked. When he luckily was able to get out of the car, the car continued to drive forward on its own and burst into flames. Firefighters battled the flames for three hours. The car ended up in a mangled and unusable condition. The owner immediately filed a lawsuit against Tesla the first week of July. Although this case is still pending, many Tesla drivers are now left worried for their own lives.

The above news is not a rare occurrence. In the last couple years, Tesla has become the largest electric car vehicle manufacturer in the United States. We have seen an increase in electric car battery fires the last couple years as more and more electric cars end up on the road. In some cases, Tesla car batteries even erupted in a fire when the car was plugged in while parked in the garage. Luckily, Tesla owners have options to seek reimbursement for their injuries sustained as a result of the car battery fire. Currently, about 1.8% of cars on the road are electric, and IHS reports that this number will double by the end of this year. Further, 1 in 10 cars will be electric by 2025.

In a study done by NBC news, it takes about 300 gallons of water to extinguish a car that erupts into flames. However, an electric car requires about 25,000 gallons of water to be extinguished. Firefighters claim this makes it very difficult because many are not well equipped to carry 25,000 gallons of water to extinguish the more resilient fires that electric vehicle batteries are creating.

Further, not all firefighters have been trained on how to extinguish a car fire. The National Fire Protection Association has trained about 250,000 firefighters as of now on how to extinguish electric car battery fires. But that is only 20% of firefighters in America.
Recently, Germany has also reported it has been very difficult to extinguish electric car battery fires. German firefighters claim they are not equipped to handle the large fires due to the lack of water sources. Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the above issue along with other electric vehicle car battery claims. They have been investigating these claims since 2020.

These claims involved around 36 car manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, Tesla, Nissan, and General Motors. As of today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that these manufacturers do not have safety regulations in place on how to prevent the severity of the fires. The administration claims the cars lack any type of device that could extinguish the flames. There is nothing in the model guide that states how to extinguish or deal with the fires. Other non-electric cars usually come with a statement or two in the guide that specifically explain how to extinguish the fire. As of now, the Tesla car model guide states, “Use large amounts of water to cool the battery. Do not extinguish fire with a small amount of water.”

Safety problems with electric car batteries have been reported as early as 2011. The Chevrolet volt caught on fire in 2011 and it took firefighters hours to extinguish it. The next instance was in 2017, when a Tesla Model X had caught on fire.

Tesla Vehicles 

Currently, there are four different types of Tesla models. All four types of models have experienced some type of battery fire.  The Tesla models  currently available in early 2022 are:

  • Model 3: this is the smallest size compared to all the other models
  • Model S: this is considered the mid-range sedan
  • Model Y: this is considered their compact sport-utility vehicle
  • Model X:  this is the largest model, and is considered the luxury model out of all other models

Why Do Tesla Batteries Catch on Fire?

Many analysts claim that the reason for the car battery fires is because of the damaged energy cells. The batteries are made from lithium ion, which is still a fairly new technology that has been introduced into the auto industry. Lithium-ion batteries are not the same as traditional lead batteries since they are stronger and charge faster. The battery is made up of several thousand cells. When the energy cells are damaged, the temperatures in the battery rise to extraordinary levels, which causes it to catch on fire.

Two main reasons why a cell could become damaged are either because of a manufacturing defect or because of an accident. The energy cells could even rise to such high levels even when the car is parked. So, there is always the danger that a car could reignite again. In 2017, after the firefighters had put out the flames of a Tesla Model X in Florida and had loaded the car onto a tow truck, the car reignited twice. Because of this recent news, firefighters must now stay behind 45 minutes to 1 hour at the scene after putting out the fire to make sure the car does not heat up and reignite again.

Future of Electric Vehicles

Many firefighters are now worried that with the popularity of electric cars comes larger batteries. Larger batteries will need even more water to extinguish, making it more difficult for fire departments in smaller cities.

Tesla has recently stated that one vehicle fire has been experienced for every 205 million miles traveled. Regular gasoline powered cars experience a fire for every 19 million miles traveled. Nevertheless, Tesla battery fire accidents result in more serious injuries because of how long it takes to extinguish the fire.

If you or a loved one have been injured when driving an electric vehicle due to a battery fire, it is crucial to seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney.

There are several claims one can make when filing a lawsuit for a Tesla battery fire accident. Claims can include, but are not limited to:

  • Product liability defects
    • Manufacturing defect: manufacturing defect is when there is a defect in one product that is not in accordance with the rest of the products
    • Design defect: the way the car has been designed could be dangerous when used as intended
  • Negligence: in a negligence claim, the driver must show that Tesla had a duty to the driver to make conditions in the car safe, and failed to do so when the car’s battery lit on fire
  • Strict Liability: the driver could claim that the car is an abnormally dangerous condition and that is the cause of the driver’s injuries

Common Tesla Vehicle Defects

Although Tesla is an advanced vehicle manufacturer that incorporates many cutting-edge technologies, there are still several common defects that have been seen in Tesla cars. Other than the battery igniting on fire, other defects can include:

  • Rust at the battery
  • Blurry backup cameras
  • Colored backup cameras
  • Panel gap issues
  • Door defects
  • Window defects
  • Trunk defects
  • Sensory Issues
  • Steering wheel issues
  • Battery dying while driving

Tesla Door Handle Injury 

Recently, Tesla’s Model S door handles have been under the spotlight. In 2019, a driver died in a car accident. The driver’s family blamed the vehicle’s door handles, claiming the driver was unable to get out of the car because of the retraction of the handles. They claimed that the driver was trapped inside the vehicle and firefighters were unable to get to the driver. 

Tesla Defective Product Settlement

In July 2021, Tesla agreed to pay $625 to Model S owners who claimed that their batteries were throttled with the new software update. According to the settlement, there were only 1700 cars that had this defect. In total, Tesla paid 1.5 million dollars to settle claims that they cut battery capacity. This was a result of a class action lawsuit filed by Model S and model X drivers whose battery had been affected by the new update. 

How Much Do Our Tesla Injury Attorneys Cost?

Our Tesla injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay for any upfront costs unless we are able to get a settlement amount or judgment in your favor. We understand that going through injuries from a Tesla could be a very traumatic experience. Many victims are left with very severe burns that could potentially be permanent. This requires several thousands of dollars in medical care following the accident. Many victims may not have the upfront costs to pay for an attorney immediately. We will pay for all upfront medical costs, while  you can relax and focus on healing from your injuries.

Tesla Model 3 Airbag Lawsuit

Recently, we have seen a surge of Tesla Model 3 lawsuits. Tesla claims that their model 3 is the safest car. However, in the past couple years there have been several lawsuits against Tesla concerning air bags, seat belts, and autopilot glitches.

In June of 2020, a Tesla Model 3 owner in Maryland filed a lawsuit against Tesla after she was injured in a car accident and her airbags failed to deploy. The model 3 crashed into the guardrail on the freeway, which eventually came to a stop. The Tesla was considered totaled. Throughout the entire accident, the airbags never deployed, and the passenger claims her seatbelt failed to restrain her. The passenger of the vehicle sustained traumatic brain injuries. 

Tesla Model 3 Autopilot Lawsuit

Tesla has also experienced multiple lawsuits from Model 3 owners who claimed that their cars were involved in a collision after using the autopilot feature. In 2019, there was a wrongful death claim filed against Tesla when the driver of the vehicle passed away after getting involved in a collision with a trailer while the car was on autopilot.

Recently, Tesla had been under fire from the U.S. federal government in October of 2019, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had advised Tesla to stop exaggerating the safety of the Model 3. For example, Tesla had been advertising the Model 3 as one of the safest cars. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that if the Model 3 had been a larger size, it would have been safer.

If you or a loved one have been injured while driving your Tesla Model 3, contact our attorneys today to see if you have a valid claim against the car manufacturer. It is important that you seek help immediately after getting involved in a Tesla accident to make sure that you receive compensation for your injuries.  The longer you wait, the more likely the case could potentially get dismissed for failing to bring it up sooner.

Do I Have a Tesla Lawsuit?

In order to determine if you have a valid claim for a Tesla lawsuit, contact our experienced California Tesla attorneys immediately. We are currently taking on Tesla lawsuits where victims have been injured. Contact our attorneys immediately for a free no risk consultation. During this consultation, we will go over the different types of strategies we could take to ensure you see maximum compensation for your injuries, along with informing you of every process of the litigation.

How We Can Help

Our firm is currently accepting lawsuits for Tesla injuries in the states of California and Nevada. If you or someone you know has been injured while driving their Tesla, contact our attorneys immediately for a free no risk consultation. We are available for free Norris consultation via email, in person, or on the phone. 

Tesla Fire Accident Timeline

Below is a list of Tesla incidents where the vehicles have caught on fire since 2013.

  • October 2013: A Tesla Model S caught on fire in Seattle after colliding with a metal piece on the road.
  • October 2013: A Tesla crashed through a wall and caught on fire in Merida, Mexico.
  • November 2013: A Tesla Model S caught on fire after running over a tow hitch in Tennessee.
  • February 2014: A Tesla Model S caught on fire in Canada. The car was not involved in any collisions.
  • July 2014: A stolen Tesla Model S was split in half after striking a pole and various other cars in West Hollywood. The card then caught on fire.
  • June 2015: A Tesla drove off a cliff in Malibu and caught on fire.
  • August 2016: A Tesla car caught on fire in Southwest France.
  • November 2016: A Tesla crashed into a tree and caught on fire in Indianapolis.
  • March 2017: A Tesla Model S caught on fire near a supercharger.
  • August 2017: A Tesla vehicle went off the road in Lake Forest, California. The car then crashed into a home and caught on fire.
  • October 2017: A Tesla Model S caught on fire in Austria after crashing into the concrete barrier on the side of the road.
  • March 2018: A Tesla Model X crashed and caught on fire in Mountain View, California.
  • May 2018: A Model S drove off the road and caught on fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Contact Our Tesla Vehicle Attorneys Today

Our product liability attorneys will work to determine what specific strengths and weaknesses you have in your case and determine the best legal strategy. Our experienced Tesla battery fire Los Angeles attorneys will be able to handle your case in a realistic way and work to get the justice you deserve. We have offices located in all major cities, including Los Angeles, Irvine, Las Vegas, and Sacramento.

 If you are having issues with your Tesla, contact our attorneys to receive financial compensation for your rights. No person should be given a defective car. Contact us today to discuss your Tesla defect claim. We believe that no vehicle owner should have to deal with defects in their car.

Contact us for a free case evaluation today. During this case evaluation, we will go through how your Tesla car injuries occurred, and what you could potentially receive for these injuries. We are here to help, and are available 24 hours a day.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.