On January 7, a Tesla Model X vehicle caught fire at a service center in Seoul, South Korea. The incident, around 1:30 p.m., resulted from a battery abnormality known as a “thermal runaway.”
The vehicle’s owner was on the road when the car stopped working due to an error message indicating “power reduced” and “driving impossible.”
The owner called a tow truck through his insurance company, and the vehicle was taken to the Tesla Service Center in Seongsu-dong, Seongdong-gu.
However, when the vehicle arrived at the service center around 4:18 p.m., it was closed because it was the weekend, and Tesla service centers in South Korea are closed even on holidays.
When the vehicle was in the service center, a sound reminiscent of boiling water came inside and outside.
At approximately 4:57 p.m., sparks began flying under the vehicle. The owner called emergency services at 5:02 a.m. after the first of several explosions occurred.
When firefighters and police arrived at about 5:20 p.m., they had difficulty dealing with the electric vehicle.
Unlike traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, it isn’t easy to open the front trunk of a Tesla when the power is off.
The firefighters asked a Tesla engineer for help and tried extinguishing the flames by breaking the windows.
Despite their efforts, the fire spread uncontrollably, causing three explosions. It took 65 firefighters and 27 vehicles to extinguish the fire, which was finally under control after 2 hours and 48 minutes.
The incident has raised concerns among Tesla owners in South Korea about the safety of their vehicles.
Some consider collective action, such as a possible investigation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport or a recall.