A Tesla driver said he kicked out a window to escape a fire in his Model Y

Tesla Model 3 vehicles queued up at the carmaker's factory in Shanghai, China.
Tesla Model 3 vehicles at the company's factory in Shanghai, China.REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
  • The driver of a Model Y that caught fire in Vancouver said he kicked the window out to escape.

  • Tesla doors have an emergency release option, but the driver said it was too difficult to figure out.

  • The incident was one of three Tesla fires in recent days.

A Tesla driver said he had to kick out the window of his Model Y to escape a fire after the electric car lost power in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Friday.

Jamil Jutha told CTV News Vancouver that the car shut down while he was stopped near an intersection. He said that it lost all power to its electronic components and that smoke began to fill the car through the air vents.

"The doors wouldn't open. The windows wouldn't go down," he told CTV News, adding that he panicked.

"I kicked through the window, climbed out, called 911 right away," he said.

Jutha and Tesla did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

All Teslas have a manual release option for opening the doors in an emergency. The Model Y's emergency-response guide says it has a mechanical release handle near the window switches.

Jutha told CTV News that the emergency option was too difficult for him to figure out in his haste to escape the car and that he hopes other drivers take the time to learn how to work it. He said that he'd owned the Model Y for a few months and that he doesn't expect to buy another Tesla.

The outlet reported that firefighters were investigating the cause of the fire. The Vancouver fire department did not immediately respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

A bystander at a nearby distillery took a 12-minute video that showed smoke filling the car, flames rising in the front of the car, and firefighters dousing the Tesla. In the video, Jutha can be heard saying he'd left his golf clubs in the car.

The incident is one of a handful of Tesla fires in recent days. On Monday, a local Fox affiliate in Brooklyn, Illinois, reported that a Tesla had caught fire. On May 14, a Model 3 caught fire in California City, California. The driver, Ediel Ruiz, told a local news outlet that the fire started near the rear of the car, under his 4-month-old's car seat.

Electric-car fires are not common, but they can be difficult to put out because of the chemistry of lithium-ion batteries, which burn hotter than gas counterparts. A 2022 report from AutoinsuranceEZ that analyzed data from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and Recalls.gov suggested that EVs were generally less likely to catch fire than combustion-engine vehicles.

Last year, General Motors recalled about 140,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs, citing fire risk. Earlier this month, Tesla recalled 130,000 cars over concerns that the touchscreens could overheat.

Read the original article on Business Insider