Amidst the ensuing scandal surrounding the fire in one of its vehicles, that raised questions about the car’s safety, the electric car company’s shares fell another 4% on Thursday.
Tesla slid 4.2 percent to $173.31 at the close in New York, the lowest since Sept. 18. The shares tumbled 6.2 percent yesterday after a picture of a Model S on fire in Washington State was published by the Jalopnik blog. The fire began in the car’s battery after the driver hit metal debris. Firefighters extinguished the flames and no one was hurt.
The decline, totaling 10 percent over two days, reflects concerns that the incident may tarnish the automaker, which has a stock-market valuation of more than $21 billion.
The Model S “collided with a large metallic object in the middle of the road, causing significant damage to the vehicle,” Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said in an e-mailed statement. The driver exited the vehicle safely and called authorities.
Debris that may be related to the Kent, Washington, collision was collected by the state’s Transportation Department, the Washington State Patrol said yesterday in a statement. The collision report should be available in a few days, the agency said.