Tesla says investigating incident of parked car exploding in Shanghai

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FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo is seen on a wheel rim during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc on Monday said it had sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding.

The video was widely shared on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, with the hashtag “Tesla self-ignites” becoming one of the most-read topics on the platform, being viewed over five million times.

It showed a parked Tesla S starting to emit smoke from its bonnet before exploding and bursting into flames, damaging surrounding cars. A time stamp on the video showed that it occurred on Sunday evening.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the origins of the video, which Weibo users said was taken in Shanghai.

“After finding out about this incident in Shanghai, we immediately sent a team to the scene. We are currently contacting relevant departments to understand the situation. Based on current information, no one was hurt,” Tesla said on its official Weibo account.

The incident comes as Tesla has been trying to revive its sales in China which have been hit hard by Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

The company currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but it is in the process of building a factory in Shanghai that will manufacture Model 3 cars in the initial phase and help it minimize the impact of the trade war and tariffs.

In March, Tesla also encountered a hiccup when Shanghai customs temporarily suspended clearance for a batch of Tesla’s Model 3 cars citing a labeling issue.

(This story was refiled to add dropped word ‘suspended’ in last paragraph.)

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Michael Perry



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