Hollywood director’s Tesla burns up followed by fire at Tesla factory; Musk reveals saboteur, warns of others

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Updated Jun 22, 2018

The undercarriage of a Tesla sedan was transformed into something reminiscent of a blow torch near Los Angeles over the weekend.

The news comes as Tesla CEO Elon Musk emailed his employees about a fire at the company’s factory in Fremont and announced that a saboteur had been discovered there whom he suspects has not been working alone. Sunday marked the fourth fire at the plant in the past four years, according to CNBC. No injuries were reported.

Over the weekend, Hollywood actress Mary McCormack reported on Twitter that her husband, director Michael Morris, was riding in his Model S in West Hollywood on Friday when passerby flagged him down and told him that his car was on fire.

After pulling over on Santa Monica Boulevard, Morris, who was the only person in the vehicle at the time, got out of the car. Neither he nor anyone else was injured.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department told Hard Working Trucks that firefighters extinguished the blaze with water. They were on site for about an hour.

McCormack Tweeted that the accident happened “out of the blue” and that the vehicle had not been involved in an accident prior to the blaze.

“Thank you to the kind couple that flagged him down and told him to pull over,” McCormack writes. “And thank God my three little girls weren’t in the car with him.”

The National Traffic Safety Board is sending an investigator to examine the car, but is not opening an official investigation, according to usatoday.com.

In an email sent today to Tesla employees, Musk writes that the fire at the Fremont factory was confined to the body production line and that there “were no injuries or significant equipment damage, but it was enough to stop the body production line for several hours.”

In a prior email sent late Sunday night, Musk wrote of a plant employee turned saboteur whom he says made code changes to the company’s operating system and downloaded sensitive information to third parties.

“We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations,” Musk writes in the email posted at cnbc.com. “As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die.”

Musk takes aim at oil and gas companies who he says do not want Tesla “to advance.” He also appears to suggest that other auto manufacturers would be willing to sabotage Tesla as the company gears up to increase Model 3 production to 5,000 cars a week.

“Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors,” Musk writes. “If they’re willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?”