Are Tesla cars unsafe? Auto giant under fire after explosive crash

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Los Angeles : Automajor giant Tesla has come under fire following an explosive crash in Indianapolis involving a Model S battery-electric vehicle.

The accident took the life of a young woman and her boss. Casy Speckman, the 27-year-old female, was driving her boss's Model S battery-electric vehicle about 1 a.m. on November 3, when they appear to have swerved to avoid a car driving in the wrong direction.

The car then crashed into a tree and then a parking garage in Indianapolis finally exploding.

On later investigation it was noted that Speckman was having a blood-alcohol level of 0.21 percent — nearly triple Indiana's 0.08 percent limit.

Also, 44 year-old Kevin McCarthy died as a result of the subsequent explosion and fire. Emergency responders who witnesed the explosion mentioned that individual batteries from the Tesla's pack were popping out of the vehicle and exploding when they arrived at the scene.

Victim Casey Speckman’s father Jon Speckman says, "Had she been in another vehicle she would have been alive for me to yell at her for driving after drinking.”

Experts noted that Tesla vehicles like gasoline vehicle can be explosive when it gets into a serious enough accident. This is not the first time Tesla has come under scrutiny as a result of fires involving its vehicles. 

Earlier, Model S was involved in several other well-publicized incidents in 2013, most of the fires triggered by road debris unexpectedly puncturing the battery pack. 

However, Tesla was quick to respond by adding a new titanium shell that reduced the likelihood of such punctures.

Downplaying the risk, CEO Elon Musk noted that there are "thousands" of gasoline-powered vehicles that are involved in fires every year. 

His blog post read, "Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse. For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery than a large tank of highly flammable liquid."

The incident also highlights concerns about lithium technology especially in wake of reports of fires and meltdowns involving the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.