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Electric car with lithium ion batteries caught fire
The fire, on a highway exit, poses a serious challenge for Tesla and, at the same time, prompts new questions about the safety of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars. So far, Tesla has said that the Model S hit a “large metallic object” that damaged one of the modules in its liquid-cooled battery pack, which is situated on the underside of the vehicle. The company has yet to say whether it is considering changes to the car to prevent similar accidents. And it may be some time before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration weighs in on whether the Model S will be investigated. Car fires often prompt safety investigations, like the inquiry two years ago when battery fires broke out in Chevrolet Volts after crash tests by federal regulators. Battery experts said that the Tesla fire was bound to generate new questions about the stability of lithium-ion batteries in an automotive collision.

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