Tesla shares drop 6 percent after report of Model S fire
By Deepa Seetharaman
DETROIT (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Co TSLA.O shares fell 6 percent on Wednesday after an automotive blog published images of a Model S electric sedan in flames after an accident on Tuesday morning just south of Seattle, Washington.
The blog, called Jalopnik, posted pictures and a video of the Model S fire on Wednesday. Tesla confirmed the authenticity of the images and said the car caught fire after the driver ran over a "large metallic object" causing extensive damage to the front end of the car.
Tesla shares fell 6.2 percent to $180.95 on the Nasdaq, their biggest one-day decline since mid-July.
It is unclear if the Model S lithium-ion battery pack was damaged. Firefighters found it difficult to quash the flames, and fire damage made it tough to determine the impact of the object on the car, Chris Webb, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol said.
The driver told state troopers that he struck metal debris while on State Route 167 around 8:18 a.m. local time on Tuesday, in Kent, a city located some 20 miles south of Seattle, he said.
The car's alert system instructed the driver to pull over and he got off the highway and out of the vehicle, Tesla said in a statement.
"The driver stated that he began to smell something burning and a short time later the vehicle caught on fire," Webb said, citing information from the state trooper investigating the incident.
"It took the fire department several attempts to extinguish the flames as it kept reigniting," Webb said in an email. The car's tires were burned up and officials dispatched a flat bed truck to remove the car, he said. Continued...