A Tesla Model Y caught fire in North Vancouver last week, an incident that made international headlines after the driver and owner of the vehicle had to kick out a window to get out of the vehicle.
In an interview with Drive Tesla, the owner Jamil Jutha tells us exactly what happened before the smoke and fire started, and what has happened since then.
Jutha tells us his Model Y was about one year old, and had no previous history of any mechanical issues. The only service visit he had in that one year was about six months ago when Tesla fixed an issue with water ingress in his trunk.
On the day of the incident, Jutha said the Model Y was at 80% charge after leaving it plugged in to his Tesla Wall Connector overnight. According to Jutha, he has lowered the amperage on his Wall Connector to 39 amps.
After leaving his condo building, Jutha drove about two blocks and was approaching a stop light when he activated his left turn signal and heard what sounded like the car shifting into Park.
Jutha tells us the 15″ center display did not black out but froze, and moments later smoke started coming out of the driver’s side vent. It was at this time he tried to open the door and window, both of which failed to respond. With both of those options not working, he pulled out his mobile phone and tried to open the trunk, which also didn’t work.
Despite online criticism that he should have been aware of the manual release on the door, Jutha says he did in fact know about it, but in the heat of the moment forgot about it. With more smoke entering the cabin, he resorted to kicking out the driver’s side window to escape the car.
According to Jutha, the whole process from when the screen froze to when he got out of the car was no more than one and a half minutes. After exiting the vehicle he immediately called 911, and within another two minutes flames were visible inside the car.
Jutha hasn’t been able to see his Model Y since it was towed away. It is currently being held in a secure location and Transport Canada has been called in to investigate the fire. The agency was scheduled to inspect the vehicle yesterday, May 24, 2022.
Jutha has also been in touch with Tesla, and has been told the incident has been sent to their engineering department who will be reviewing the vehicle’s logs to try and determine a possible cause.
With a few days to think about the incident and what happened, Jutha says he is thankful he was alone in the car, and wants everyone to know about the manual door releases so they know what to do if they are faced with a similar situation.
The front doors have a manual release near the window controls, while the rear doors have a manual release in the door pocket.
Here is a 12 minute long video which started shortly after Jutha exited the vehicle.