Tesla Model S catches on fire twice in the South Bay

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Tesla and the Santa Clara County Fire Department continue to investigate yet another Tesla car fire.

This time a Tesla Model S car caught fire not once — but twice. 

The first time the Tesla sparked was at a tire shop in Los Gatos off University Avenue around 2 p.m. Tuesday. 

The owner got a flat tire on Highway 16. Fire crews say it was in the parking lot for about 10 minutes when a witness heard a loud noise, smelled smoke, and saw that the car was on fire. 

Fire crews put out the fire and then contacted Tesla for instructions.

“Cool the batteries with water and then monitor them within an hour,” says a fire official. ” If we didn’t experience that hissing noise or that burning process that meant the batteries had been cooled to the point where it could be towed safely.”

Over the course of six hours, Santa Clara County Fire Officials cooled the vehicle and then it was towed to a Campbell tow yard, where it caught fire again.

It is still unclear what initially caused the car to catch fire.

Teslas has responded with a statement saying they are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with first responders, also saying “we are glad to hear everyone is safe.”

Tesla cars catching on fire is not uncommon, but industry analysts believe it’s overblown.

Sam Abuelsamid is an automotive technology analyst with Navigant Research. 

He says electronic vehicles are actually less likely to catch fire than internal combustion engines.

That said, Abuelsamid says it’s not unusual for EV batteries to catch fire twice.

Tesla officials add that a Tesla vehicle is at least 10 times less likely to experience a fire than a vehicle powered by gasoline. 

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