Electric-car maker Tesla Motors is requesting to study the wreckage of a stolen Model S sedan splitting in half and triggering a fire after a high-speed pursuit in Los Angeles.
The Palo Alto-based company led by Elon Musk is cooperating with Los Angeles police and fire officials probing the incident. On July 4 a 28-year-old man stole the car from the Tesla Motors dealership in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and led police on a high-speed chase reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. The Tesla has crashed into two lights poles alongside a West Hollywood synagogue, ripped in half and went up in flames.
The back end of the car ended up wedged between two walls of a synagogue, while the heavily damaged front end caught on fire in the street. The driver was initially believed to be dead, but was reanimated by paramedics and then taken into custody. Six other people were also hurt as the Tesla hit several other cars before crashing into a lamppost.
“We’ve asked to take a look at the vehicle as soon as that’s possible,” Simon Sproule, a company spokesman, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. “There aren’t so many S’s involved in major crashes, and certainly not quite like this one, so we absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened.”
Electric-car maker is rebuilding its reputations as a manufacturer of safe cars. The company added a titanium plate to strengthen the casing, which protects its lithium-ion battery. It was done after the National Highway Traffic Association investigated crashes that triggered fires last year.
Tesla Model S is priced from $71,000. It was designated a five-star rating for crashworthiness by the NHTSA.