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Fire that trapped B.C. man in his Tesla was not caused by car's battery: Transport Canada

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An investigation into a frightening incident where a Tesla suddenly caught fire in North Vancouver—briefly trapping the driver inside—has ruled out the car's battery as the cause, according to Transport Canada.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the federal agency says the vehicle has been examined twice since the May 2022 fire, but that the exact cause has not been pinpointed.

"The fire originated in the left half of the dashboard in the vicinity of the left body control module. The components removed from the subject vehicle for closer examination are the left body control module, the steering column assembly, and the car computer," the emailed statement read.

"The car computer was retained as it may contain some recorded data that could be helpful. It was confirmed that the fire does not relate to the high-voltage battery in the vehicle."

The car's driver, Jamil Jutha, previously told CTV News that he had to kick out the car’s windows to escape the flames and smoke after it suddenly powered down.

Under normal circumstances, the doors on a Tesla Model Y open electronically with the touch of a button.

There is a mechanical release available for use in an emergency, but Jutha said it is not entirely intuitive and can be difficult to figure out in an urgent situation.

He said he hopes sharing the story of his ordeal will encourage others to familiarize themselves with the car's emergency features. 

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