Machine catches fire at Tesla factory in California

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A machine caught fire at the northern California factory where Tesla makes the bulk of its cars, according to local officials.

The flames broke out Thursday afternoon in a part of the Fremont plant that’s currently under construction, the Fremont Fire Department said.

Firefighters who responded to the factory around 4:30 p.m. Pacific time contained the fire to a “vehicle manufacturing stamping machine” on the site, the fire department said in a Facebook post.

A photo from the scene showed dark smoke billowing out of the plant while cranes stood nearby.

Local firefighters worked with Tesla’s internal staff to quell the fire, which was caused by “molten aluminum and hydraulic fluid,” the department said. No one was hurt in the incident.

At least four other fires have broken out at the Fremont factory since 2014, two of which were serious enough to stop vehicle production there, according to a 2018 CNBC report.

Firefighters respond to a fire at Tesla's Fremont, Calif., factory.
Seen in a drone photo, firefighters respond to a fire at automaker Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory on Thursday.
AP

It’s unclear whether the latest blaze affected production. Tesla does not have an active press office and did not return an email seeking comment Friday.

As Tesla’s flagship production facility, the Fremont plant churns out all four electric cars in the Elon Musk-led company’s current lineup: the Model 3 sedan, the Model Y SUV, and the more upscale Model S and Model X.

The plant has the capacity to make 600,000 cars a year, compared with 450,000 that Tesla’s factory in Shanghai, China can produce, the company says.

The Fremont, Calif., factory is pictured in a drone photo taken on Thursday.
Automaker Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory is pictured in a drone photo on Thursday.
AP

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has slapped Tesla with notices of violation “relating to air permitting and related compliance” for the Fremont plant, according to the company’s February annual report. Tesla said it has disputed some of the allegations.

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