On Saturday, May 6, 2023, a Tesla Model Y reportedly caught fire in California. While driving on the freeway onramp, the driver thought he had a flat tire. However, when he got out to check, there was smoke around the car, and then flames underneath. Tesla's customer service has reportedly been difficult to deal with related to the situation.
The Model Y driver, Bishal Malla, said he was simply out running some errands and the Tesla started to shake, which is why he assumed there was something wrong with the tire. It wasn't long before the entire Model Y was up in flames. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident, but the electric crossover was considered a total loss.
Malia's next move was to contact Tesla's customer service department to let them know what happened and try to get more details about the incident. Fortunately, his insurance company is going to cover a new car, but Tesla's customer service was reportedly far from helpful.
According to Teslarati, Malia shared some details about the story on Reddit, which were picked up by Business Insider. The Model Y owner says Tesla customer service would only help him if it involved a roadside assistance situation. Obviously, roadside assistance couldn't help him with a completely burned EV. Malia went on to share that one agent told him on the phone to take the car to a Tesla Service Center. He shared via Teslarati:
“I’ve tried them more than 10 times, but those folks at roadside assistance customer service can’t do anything. One agent I talked to had the audacity to tell me to take my fully burned Tesla to the Tesla recommended servicing center. My car was fully salvaged and a total loss. How in the world am I going to do that?”.
At this point, Tesla hasn't come forward with a statement. All we have to go on is the story as relayed by the Model Y owner, which we have no way of fully substantiating. While it seems pretty clear the Tesla caught fire, the rest of the details are just the owner's words with no counterpoint from any other parties.
While the incident should have never happened in the first place, we're thankful Malia is okay, no one else was hurt, and his insurance company is going to replace the car. Aside from that, Malia is just hoping to get some answers from Tesla to "protect others to not go through the same issue."
Tesla doesn't have a PR department and this wouldn't be the first time an owner shared a story about a lack of communication and confusing interactions. If more details about the story become available, we'll either update this article or write another.
Source: Business Insider via Teslarati