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Tesla Model 3 Crash Sends Scorching Battery Cells Into a Nearby House

Hundreds of battery cells flew out, and at least two smashed through windows.

November 20, 2020 2 min read

This story originally appeared on Engadget

A Tesla Model 3 owner crashed his car so hard, the electric vehicle’s battery broke apart and sent cells flying all over the area. The police department of Corvallis, Oregon has posted the details of the crash on Facebook, where it revealed that the owner was driving in excess of 100mph. Apparently, the driver lost control of the vehicle, sheared a power pole and then knocked over two trees and a telephone junction box. The impact broke the EV’s battery pack seal, causing hundreds of cells to scatter – at least two smashed through people’s windows, with one landing on a person’s lap and another landing on someone’s bed, starting a small fire.

Related: Tesla Is on a Hiring Spree to Try to Reach 500,000 Annual Car Deliveries

According to a Model 3 battery teardown by YouTube creator Jack Rickard, the Model 3 battery pack already uses an epoxy that makes removing cells extremely difficult. While the collision may have just been too powerful for the epoxy, we’ve reached out to Tesla to ask what the company thinks happened and if it’s thinking of ways on how to prevent cells from flying out in the event of another crash in the future .

As you can guess, the vehicle itself was destroyed. One of its tires even flew with such force that it struck the second story of an apartment complex, enough to rupture the water pipes and flood the downstairs units. The driver himself made it out of the crash alive and tried to flee on foot – he allegedly tested positive for cannabis and was charged with a DUI. Now, the Corvallis police is asking residents to keep an eye out for cells in the area, since authorities may not have retrieved every single one of them. The cells can stay hot and cause burns for up to 24 hours, the cops warn, can release toxic fumes and leak harmful substances.