Tesla to study Model S that split in 2 after police chase
Stolen car caught on fire, reigniting concern about electric car safety
Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it wants to study the wreckage of a Model S sedan that split in half and burned after a high-speed chase this weekend.
The company is working with police to investigate an accident that occurred after a Tesla stolen from a dealership led police on a chase that reached 160 km/h in Los Angeles.
According to reports, the car hit several other cars before running into a lamppost, splitting in two and catching on fire.
The driver was ejected from the car and is in police custody. About six other people were injured.
The accident happened the same weekend that three people in Palmdale, Calif., died after their car was hit by a Tesla that caught on fire. The Tesla driver escaped with minor injuries.
The electric car company is rebuilding its reputation as a maker of safe vehicles after video footage last year of Tesla Model S sedans on fire.
Tesla had added a titanium plate to further strengthen the casing that protects its lithium-ion battery after National Highway Traffic Safety Association reviewed crashes that triggered last year's fires.
The Model S, priced from $71,000 US, has a five-star rating for crashworthiness. But the market for electric cars is still in its infancy and the company believes it has to get ahead of any potential safety issues.