A base-priced $129,900 Tesla Model S Plaid burst into flames while being driven this week, forcing the driver to push his way out before the car became engulfed in fire, the lawyer for the car’s Pennsylvania owner said, according to reports.
The unidentified driver had to “use force” to get the door open after he noticed smoke coming from the back of the car because its electronic door system malfunctioned Tuesday, Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos further claimed, according to Reuters.
“It was a harrowing and horrifying experience,” Geragos said.
After the driver escaped, the car reportedly continued to move on its own about 40 feet down a residential street near the owner’s home in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The owner had reportedly received the car only three days earlier.
The Model S Plaid was launched last month and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called it “faster than any Porsche, safer than any Volvo.”
Musk admitted in April there were “more challenges than expected” in developing the model’s new battery pack. “It took quite a bit of development to ensure that the battery of the new S and X is safe,” he said at the time, according to CNBC.
Musk had originally told Joe Rogan on his podcast the cars would be available in February.
Lower Merion Township Fire Department Chief Charles McGarvey told CNBC two teams of firefighters worked for more than three hours to put out the fire and in a since-deleted Facebook post local authorities said teams cooled the “batteries down to ensure complete extinguishment,” Reuters reported.
McGarvey told CNBC the department had been in touch with Tesla over the incident.
It’s unclear why the fire department deleted the post.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating the incident.
“If data or investigations show a defect or an inherent risk to safety exists, NHTSA will take action as appropriate to protect the public,” it said, according to Reuters.
There were no reports of the driver being injured.
Tesla did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.