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Lithium Battery Blamed in Fatal Tesla Crash


January 02, 2020

FLORIDA - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report stating that the lithium-ion battery in a Tesla vehicle contributed to the death of an eighteen-year-old boy who crashed the vehicle last year, according to TTNEWS.com.*

The collision occurred when the teen drove the Model S at over 100 miles per hour on a curve before losing control of the vehicle. The speed limit  was 25-miles-per hour. 

After the impact, the lithium-ion battery started a fire in the vehicle. The driver and a passenger in the front seat of the vehicle both tragically died as a result of the fire. A passenger who had been in the back seat was thrown from the Model S and survived with serious injuries. The rear passenger did not have a seatbelt on at the time. 

The NTSB is investigating several other crashes where fires began as a result of the lithium based batteries used in Teslas and other cars. Reports indicate that the batteries present a fire risk and, even once extinguished, can ignite subsequent times even days after a crash. Firefighters say that the flames from the batteries are difficult to extinguish. 

When firefighters arrived on the scene of the Model S collision, they used foam and hundreds of gallons of water in an attempt to control the fire. The car battery ignited two more times while the firefighters were working at the scene. 

Smaller versions of the batteries are used in phones and other electronic devices. The lithium-ion batteries contain oxygen supplies, which makes extinguishing them particularly difficult. In order to lower the risk of a lithium-ion battery catching fire, experts say avoid storing them at high temperatures and try not to overcharge the batteries. If you are carrying smaller electronics, it is best not to keep them all together because if one catches fire, it could ignite the others. 

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Sources:https://www.ttnews.com/articles/ntsb-cites-lithium-battery-fire-deadly-crash and https://www.thoughtco.com/why-lithium-batteries-catch-fire-606814

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.