In a video, time stamped Sunday evening and widely shared on China's Twitter-like Weibo, a first-generation Model S sedan parked in a Shanghai garage appears to begin to emit smoke, and seconds later bursts into flames.
The video began circulating Sunday night (April 21), and posts with the hashtag #Tesla self-ignites" or 特斯拉自燃, had drawn nearly 18 million views as of early Monday.
Good or bad, negative or positive I will post anything about Tesla or EVs in China. This happened today in Shanghai, China ���� 1st generation Tesla Model S caught Fire �� underground car park.#Tesla #TeslaChina #ModelS #Fire #China #Shanghai #特斯拉 #中国 $TSLA pic.twitter.com/HOwMcvulV1— Jay in Shanghai (@ShanghaiJayin) April 21, 2019
"We immediately sent a team onsite and we're supporting local authorities to establish the facts. From what we know now, no one was harmed," Tesla said in a statement on Monday.
There have been at least 14 instances of Tesla cars catching fire since 2013, with the majority occurring after a crash.
Tesla shares were down 3.8% to $267.97 in trading on Monday.