Tesla Stock Hits Bumpy Road After Car Fire

Shares of Tesla tumbled after a video of a Model S going up in flames went viral. The electric car maker said the fire started when the vehicle struck some metal road debris, damaging the battery pack on the car's underbody. Tesla has been a stock market darling this year, but the high-end carmaker has lost billions of dollars in value in just a few days.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Stock in the electric carmaker Tesla has been tumbling. That's after a video of a Tesla Model S on fire went viral. The high-end carmaker has lost billions of dollars of in value in just a few days.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: For much of the year, it's been all rainbows and lollipops for Tesla. Consumer Reports gave it one its highest ratings ever. And almost every other car magazine raved about it also. And its stock shot through the roof. That is, until this video of a Tesla on fire in the Seattle are went viral.

(SOUNDBITE OF A VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Wow, I can feel the heat in here.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Oh, that's a Tesla, dude.

GLINTON: Tesla says the car caught fire after the driver ran over a large metallic object, causing extensive damage to the vehicle's front end. No passengers were injured, though Tesla stock fell two days in a row, losing billions in value.

JACK NERAD: We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals.

GLINTON: Jack Nerad is an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

NERAD: I mean there are car fires every day. All kinds of car fires from all kinds of cars, and they don't make the national news or press the price of the stock of the company that built the car way, way down

GLINTON: Nerad says almost every thing around Tesla is, quote, overwrought.

Sonari Glinton, NPR News.

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