Tesla factory accident injures three workers with hot metal

A low-pressure aluminum casting press caused an "industrial accident" at the Model S car factory.

A view from inside Telsa's Fremont, Calif., factory. James Martin/CNET

Telsa has experienced a spate of bad luck as of late. Not only have three of its Model S all-electric cars caught fire in the past two months, but an accident at the company's Fremont, Calif., factory caused three employees to be injured by hot metal on Wednesday morning.

"There was a failure in a low-pressure aluminum casting press," Tesla said in a statement e-mailed to CNET. "Three employees were injured by hot metal from that press. We are making sure that they receive the best possible care."

Local firemen said the incident is being described as an "industrial accident" rather than a "fire," according to Reuters.

While the accident at the factory is unrelated to the Model S car fires, it does pile onto some of the bad press Telsa has received in the past few weeks. The fact there have been three post-accident fires in Telsa's cars has caused some people to speculate that the Model S might not be as safe as originally believed -- despite there being no serious injuries or deaths in the incidents.

However, in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, Telsa CEO Elon Musk maintained that the Model S is the safest automobile on the road . He said that the average rate of fires in gasoline cars is 1 in every 1,300 cars. While, for Tesla, he said it's roughly 1 in every 8,000 cars. This would mean that Teslas are five times less likely to be in a car fire than a gasoline automobile.

"If you read the headlines, it sounds like Teslas have a greater propensity to catch fire than other cars," Musk said. "In reality, nothing could be further from the truth."

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.


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