On September 13th 2021, a Tesla battery explosion in Florida rocked the small city of Coral Gables, as a Model 3 was involved in a fatal and fiery crash after speeding through an intersection and colliding with two trees. On impact, the car’s battery exploded, bursting into flames, and while firefighters wrestled with the blaze, the fire reignited at least once due to the “thermal runaway” effect that lithium batteries experience due to their combustible material, which we’ll explain more below.
Tesla Car Battery Explodes in Florida – What Happened?
According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation, a 20-year-old driver was traveling north on Alhambra Circle and approached a yellow signal-light at Coral Way. To make the light, he hit the accelerator to 100%, pushing the car to 90-miles per hour in a 30-miles per hour zone.
As a result, the car went about 140-feet before the driver lost control, striking the front left of the car against a tree, which rotated the vehicle 90-degrees counterclockwise, colliding with a second tree, before coming to a complete stop. On impact with the trees, the car’s battery exploded, resulting in a lengthy blaze that destroyed the interior of the vehicle. Both the driver and his 19-year-old passenger died at the scene.
This Is Not The First Fiery Crash Involving Tesla’s Vehicles
While this may seem like a one-off incident, Tesla has been under fire for years over the safety of its autonomous driving options, specifically when it comes to AutoPilot and the self-driving options the company offers in its cars. Critics argue that these functions are not as safe as Tesla touts, and when combined with driver inexperience, it leads to dangerous situations. But, what made this Tesla battery explosion in Florida even more concerning was the fact that the firefighters faced challenges in extinguishing the blaze, as the vehicle’s battery reignited at least once.
What Is Thermal Runaway in Lithium Batteries?
Thermal Runaway is a phenomenon that occurs in lithium-ion batteries, which can cause the battery to overheat, explode, or burst into flames. Lithium is a highly reactive and combustible material, which means that if there is any sort of damage or puncture to the battery cell, it can cause a fire which can spread to the next cell. The same goes for overheating, when the lithium battery begins to overheat, it can lead to further heating, which spreads – thermal runaway. In this Tesla battery explosion in Florida, the battery caught fire, and reignited due to thermal runaway, making it challenging to put out the blaze.
The Responsibility of the Manufacturer
Manufacturers that learn that their product has resulted in a fire, explosion, or personal injury should take steps to limit consumer dangers by notifying and potentially recalling their products. If you’ve been injured in a fire caused by a lithium battery in Florida, you should talk to an attorney about your legal options. Many companies try to avoid liability by issuing warnings and recalls, but this may not be enough to prevent further injuries in the future.
Have You Been Injured By An Unsafe Product?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident, our experienced attorneys here at Frank Eidson in Orlando, Fl can help you build a strong and convincing case. We are a top-rated law firm with over 30 years of experience in personal injury law, and are ready to fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.