A report from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office in Texas has provided several new details about the high-profile, fatal Tesla Model S crash that happened earlier in April.
The incident, which triggered a wave of inaccurate reports suggesting the ill-fated vehicle was “driverless,” has rekindled conversations about Tesla’s response to misinformation and the dangers of irresponsible driving.
Immediately after the crash, Harris County Pct. 4 Constable Mark Herman remarked reconstructionists who responded to the accident were “100% certain that no one was in the driver seat driving that vehicle at the time of impact.” This triggered reports alleging Autopilot was somehow involved.
Herman also remarked the blaze that resulted from the crash took about four hours to be extinguished, and firefighters had to call for Tesla for tips on how to address the ill-fated Model S’ battery fire.
These statements were promptly corrected by CEO Elon Musk, who noted data logs indicate Autopilot was not enabled during the incident.
Fire Chief of The Woodlands Township Fire Department Palmer Buck also corrected reports about the Model S’ battery fire, noting the blaze was controlled within two to three minutes. After this, it was no longer an active fire, as the fire department was just focused on keeping the battery as cool as possible.
Buck also noted fire personnel did not call Tesla for help on how to handle the vehicle fire.
According to the recent report from the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, the vehicle had sustained a “significant front-end collision” that may have damaged its battery, power distribution system or battery-temperature control systems. While investigator Chris Johnson noted he was unable to determine the first heat source of the blaze, he concluded...