Tesla Motors Inc., the electric carmaker, said it wants to study the remnants of a stolen Model S sedan that split in half and burned in a collision after a high-speed chase in Los Angeles.
The company led by Elon Musk is working with Los Angeles police and fire officials investigating the incident that began early July 4 when an unidentified man stole the Tesla and led police on a high-speed chase. The chase ended when he collided with several vehicles in West Hollywood. The car split when it crashed into a utility pole, triggering a battery fire, according to police reports. The man was injured in the incident and was taken into custody.
“We’ve asked to take a look at the vehicle as soon as that’s possible,” company spokesman Simon Sproule said in a phone interview. “There aren’t so many S’s involved in major crashes, and certainly not quite like this one, so we absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened.”
The Palo Alto, California-based company’s Model S, priced from $71,000, has a five-star rating for crashworthiness, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest designation. Tesla added a titanium plate in March to further strengthen the casing that protects its lithium-ion battery after NHTSA reviewed crashes that triggered Model S fires.
Los Angeles police said the Model S was taken from a lot in west Los Angeles.