Catching-fire Tesla in Shanghai spurs investigation

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According to the company, these changes make for a 10 percent improvement in driving range.

The video clip has understandably caused concern among Tesla owners.

It's expected for vehicles that go through severe crashes to sometimes catch on fire regardless of their powertrain, but when a vehicle just starts burning up for no apparent reason, that's a different problem altogether.

As a special perk for existing customers, if you now own a Model S or X and want to upgrade to a newer model, Tesla will throw in Ludicrous Mode, a $20,000 value, for free. Smoke initially comes out from under the front wheel wells, followed by what appears to be an explosion of flames from under the front of the auto.

After dropping the 75D in January, Tesla is reversing course-because why should Elon Musk commit to outdated concepts like model years?-by reintroducing the base Model S and X trims. Tesla has also said it is looking at that fire. "We are actively contacting relevant departments and supporting the verification". Even Tesla's misleading "after savings" price on its configurator, which doesn't factor in the $1200 destination charge and optimistically assumes thousands in fuel savings, looked too dear.

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At present all Tesla cars sold in China are imported from the U.S., and are subject to heavy tariffs as part of the simmering trade war between the two economic superpowers.

The automaker now imports all the cars it sells in China, but is building a factory in Shanghai that will initially make its Model 3 and help reduce the impact of a trade war.

In March, Tesla was also on the receiving end of a labelling mix-up at Shanghai customs resulting in clearance for a batch of Model 3 cars being temporarily suspended.

Tesla has since issued a statement on the event, stating it's now investigating. Tesla notes that the range increase is due in large part to a new drive unit design that leverages an optimized permanent magnet motor, improved cooling, bearings, and new gear design to achieve greater than 93% efficiency.

According to local news portal eastday.com, the Tesla owner said he parked in the garage at about 7:40pm and was told about the fire at 9pm.

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