The battery of a Tesla Model S reignited twice in the aftermath of a fiery crash that killed two teens and injured one other in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to a report released on Tuesday by federal investigators. It is another instance of a Tesla vehicle’s battery catching fire in the hours or days after a deadly crash.
The Model S was traveling at 116 mph when it crashed into a wall surrounding a residence on the evening of May 8th, the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) said in its two-page preliminary report. The car continued forward and struck the wall a second time on the south side of a driveway. Several witnesses reported that the Tesla erupted in flames after the second collision.
The Model S was traveling 116 mph when it crashed
Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the Model S engulfed in flames. They extinguished it using as much as 300 gallons of water and foam. A small portion of the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery was ejected during the crash, and although there was no visible fire, firefighters sprayed it with water and foam as well.
As the car was being loaded for removal from the scene, the battery reignited and was quickly extinguished. Upon arrival at the storage yard, the battery caught fire again and was again put out. NTSB officials have not given a reason for the battery fires.
This isn’t the first time a Tesla vehicle battery has caught fire in the aftermath of a crash. The battery of a Model X SUV that crashed in Mountain View, California, earlier this year suddenly caught fire again five days later at the impound lot.
More recently, actress Mary McCormack posted a video of her husband’s Tesla Model S engulfed in flames, even though it had not been involved in any accident. At the time, Tesla called the fire “extraordinarily unusual” and said it was investigating its cause.
A spokesperson for the company declined comment. Tesla recently rolled out a new speed-limiting feature as part of its latest over-the-air software update, which allows vehicle owners to set a maximum speed between 50 and 90 mph. Tesla dedicated the feature to the son of a Tesla owner who died in the Fort Lauderdale crash.