U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Inc said it has sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding, the latest in a string of four incidents involving Tesla's cars.
The video, time stamped Sunday evening and widely shared on China's Twitter-like Weibo shows the parked EV emit smoke and burst into flames seconds later. A video purportedly of the aftermath completely destroyed three cars completely
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the origins of the videos, which Weibo users were told in Shanghai .
The cause of the explosion could not be immediately ascertained from the videos.
"We immediately sent a team onsite and we are supporting local authorities to establish the facts.
There have been at least 1
] The automaker has said it is about 10 times less likely to experience four than petrol-powered cars, based on its fleet or over 500,000 vehicles which have driven more than 10 billion miles. It did not specify whether the statistic referred to normal use or involving accidents.
The latest incident comes as Tesla tries to push sales in China, where its prices were impacted by tit-for-tat tariffs imposed during Sino -US trade tensions last year
The automaker currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but is building a factory in Shanghai that will initially make its model 3 and help reduce the impact of a trade war.
In March, Tesla was also on the receiving end of a labeling mix-up at Shanghai customs that led to a temporary suspension of a batch of Model 3 cars.
Analysts said the latest fire incident would likely increase attention on the safety of EVs but was unlikely to have a significant impact on Tesla's sales or reputation in China while the cause was being investigated. "Tesla had four incidents before, but they didn't have a big impact on its reputation in China," said analyst Alan Kang at LMC Automotive.
"Since its consumer base is not particularly conservative, and China is pushing the electric vehicle market, if this incident is just accidental, it will not have a big impact on Tesla," he said. 19659002] "Tesla self-iGN ites "was one of the most popular hashtags on Weibo on Monday, racking up over 20 million clicks. Some users urged the automaker to quickly find the cause, while others speculated on the impact of the value of Tesla cars currently on the road.
"One lesson I learned from the Shanghai self-exploding Tesla: Don't park your car next to Tesla," said one commentator.
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In a separate, unrelated incident, Tesla's rival in China, Nio, said in a social media post that an ES8 electric sports utility vehicle caught on Monday in a nine service center in the central city of Xian while under repair.
"Nio has launched the cause of the fire," said Nio, adding no one was due to the incident.