Tesla Motors Inc. TSLA's shares declined 2.9% to $222.66 on Monday following the violent crash Friday of a Model S that burst into flames after it hit a pole in Southern California, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Tesla is awaiting a police report and access to the remains of the vehicle.
There were seven injuries but no deaths reported after a man stole a vehicle from a Tesla store in Los Angeles and led police on a wild chase through the city, hitting speeds of 100 mph, before crashing into several cars and then a pole in West Hollywood, according to a report on television station KTLA-TV. A report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is investigating the crash, wasn't immediately available. A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman said the car was stolen around midnight, and police officers pursued the car but were involved in a crash during the pursuit.
Following the crash, the lithium-ion batteries from the car—spread around in clumps on the street—began to burn, some popping like fireworks and shooting into the air. Bystanders recorded the wreckage and burning batteries in mobile phone video shown by the television station.
The Model S split in half, with the front landing on another car and the back wedging between two walls at a synagogue.
This is the second report of a Tesla being crashed at high-speeds and burning after impact. The other was in Mexico. In both cases, the drivers weren't killed. The driver of the stolen Model S was thrown from the vehicle and was in critical condition, according to the television report.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said he is proud that there has been no fatal injuries in any accidents with Model S vehicles. Still, of the roughly 30,000 vehicles sold globally, at least four have ended up burning following a collision. Two other Model S vehicles burned after hitting road debris, which led Tesla to install shielding to the underbody.
Car fires are relatively common in the U.S. A study by the U.S. Fire Administration said there were about 65,000 car fires a year from 2008-2010, leading to 300 deaths. Collisions were attributed as a factor in 4% of these fires, or roughly 2,600 fires a year out of the U.S. vehicle fleet of about 250 million. Most vehicle fires occur from electrical wiring, engine or tire malfunctions.