Tesla vehicle catches fire after hitting tow truck in Moscow

Image credit EV Items

The driver of the Model 3 told a Russian TV website he was using the electric vehicle's auto pilot system when he hit a stopped tow truck on a highway.

Two small explosions also occurred within a few seconds of each other.

The US's top automobile safety regulator has issued at least five subpoenas since a year ago seeking information about crashes involving Tesla vehicles, according to Reuters. According to reports, the vehicle was on Autopilot at the time of the accident.

After two incidents of high-profile fires in China, Tesla released a software update to its vehicles in May to increase the longevity of the battery and to increase safety.

The eyewitness is filming the other side of the ring road as they pass the crashed Tesla when the vehicle explodes, engulfing the auto in flames and thick black smoke.

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The auto, driven by a Russian businessman and carrying his two children, struck a tow truck that was tending to a vehicle on the side of the highway near Moscow, according to Russian news outlet Zvezda.

The Tesla burst into flames after a crash reportedly caused by a failure of its assisted driving feature. Some Tesla owners bought higher models since they provide greater range, they claimed that Tesla removed this with the software update which resulted to devaluing their tesla cars, limiting the distance their vehicles can travel and forcing them to recharge their vehicles more frequently.

Police said: "The Tesla was probably driving on Autopilot and couldn't recognize the tow truck in front of it, after which it caught fire".

Until now, the automaker have insisted that it is safer to drive on Autopilot and that its vehicles were much less likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles, the report said.

Tesla did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment at the time of publication.

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