Over the recent holiday weekend, a highly coveted Tesla Model S was stolen and crashed in a fiery explosion. The electric cars, created by Elon Musk, have been receiving attention since their first prototype. As more of these cars hit the road there have been increasing questions about their safety. As the Tesla Model S Sees its first fatality these questions arise once again.
The stolen Tesla reportedly crashed into a synagogue at an incredibly high speed. It immediately split in half and caught fire, which was the main concern for the electric cars. As they run on a battery and not gasoline, the risk of fire was always thought to be a big factor. Musk has said that the odds of the battery catching fire is around 1 in 8,000 vehicles which is five times lower than the risk with a gasoline car. Regardless of the facts and numbers, the Tesla still seemed an unsafe investment for people. In response to these doubts Musk added a full titanium shield for the battery to further decrease the risk. Unfortunately, in this incident, because the car split in half, the titanium shield tore in half and exposed the battery to the intense heat of the crash. That’s when the explosion occurred and the Tesla Model S saw its first fatality.
The suspect of the theft was a 26-year-old from Inglewood California named Joshua Michael Flot. During the high speed crash he was engaged in with the police after the robbery, he was flung out of the car and sustained multiple critical injuries. He was still alive when police arrived at the scene of the crime but he later succumbed to his injuries and has since passed away. Police reports say that Flot lost control of the vehicle during the high speed chase which led to the fatal accident. The vehicle reportedly reached dangerous speeds of 100 mph and over. While any vehicle is unsafe at such speeds, Tesla has issued a statement saying they are saddened by this accident and are willing to help the authorities in any way.
Thee Investigation is still underway as more information about the crash becomes available. Once done, it will be determined if Tesla is liable and if so, how much and how so. Musk is not worried about the stock of the company or the possible media backlash. Instead Tesla’s statements are focused on Flot and what a horrible loss this first fatality is.
This is the first reported fatality from a Tesla Model S crash. Only two Tesla vehicles have ever been reported to have crashed and caught fire. In the first, it was a mistake on the part of the driver and nobody was hurt. Unfortunately in this case, this was a deadly explosion. When police arrived on the scene the wreckage was so bad that they immediately deemed the accident non-survivable. Although best efforts were made to rescue Flot and stabilize his critical injuries, it has unfortunately been since ruled as a fatal accident.
Elon Musk, owner of the company, is steering all media attention away from Tesla and focusing on this tragic loss. This is not the time to question the integrity of the company or electric cars, Musk says, but instead to grieve this awful loss sustained by Flot’s family and the community at large. Although this is the first fatality seen for the Tesla Model S, stock prices and market values have yet to be affected.
By Sindhu Reddy