Mitchell Weston, chief investigator at the Harris County Hearth Marshal’s Workplace, mentioned that whilst the batteries are “generally risk-free,” impacts at significant speeds can end result in “thermal runaway,” which brings about an “uncontrolled contact” between unique elements in the batteries.
Thermal runaway can guide to fires, as properly as “battery reignition,” even immediately after an preliminary fireplace is place out, the basic safety board warned in its report. Mitsubishi Electrical warns that “thermal runaway can guide to catastrophic final results, such as fireplace, explosion, sudden procedure failure, pricey problems to machines, and quite possibly personalized harm.”
The hearth marshal’s office was investigating the hearth in the crash, a spokeswoman mentioned. Constable Herman claimed his office was functioning with the federal authorities to investigate.
He reported that legislation enforcement officers experienced been in get hold of with Tesla on Saturday for “guidance on a couple of things” but declined to focus on the character of the conversations.
Tesla, which has disbanded its general public relations staff, did not answer to a request for comment.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief government, earlier on Saturday experienced promoted a new protection report from the firm, composing on Twitter that “Tesla with Autopilot engaged now approaching 10 occasions lower chance of incident than ordinary auto.”
Tesla, which on its web page phone calls Autopilot the “future of driving,” suggests the element permits its autos to “steer, speed up and brake immediately in its lane.” Nevertheless, it warns that “current Autopilot characteristics demand active driver supervision and do not make the automobile autonomous.”
In 2016, a driver in Florida was killed in a Tesla Product S that was in Autopilot mode and failed to brake for a tractor-trailer that produced a still left flip in front of it.