The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it was evaluating an incident where a Tesla Model S caught fire near Dallas on November 23, according to the Washington Post.
Footage captured by Robert Watson on November 23 shows a Tesla Model S burning in the suburb of Frisco before firefighters began extinguishing the blaze coming from the front of the car. The owner of the car was named in reports as Usmaan Ahmad.
Speaking to Storyful, Watson said he spotted the burning vehicle after coming back from baseball practice with his two sons.
Watson told Storyful: “We saw a Tesla coming from the opposite direction that had just stopped and was smoking heavily from the front passenger wheel. I called 911 then exited my vehicle to ensure the driver was ok and that nobody else was in the car. He was the only occupant and was outside.”
Watson said the flames “quickly became heavy out of the front passenger wheel” and were “shooting 4-5 feet from the car like a flamethrower.”
“At one point, I was standing with the driver maybe 30 feet from the car and we heard what sounded like an explosion coming from the car as the flames continued,” added Watson. “Within five to seven minutes the fire department arrived and quickly was able to extinguish the fire with some sort of retardant.”
The Frisco Fire Department told Storyful the fire was “unintentional” after reviewing this video, but had no further comment to make about the cause of the blaze.
NHTSA spokesman Sean Rushton said the agency has also been evaluating cases of alleged battery defects in older models of Tesla vehicles.
Storyful contacted Tesla for comment, but has yet to receive a response. Credit: Robert Watson via Storyful