George Clooney not happy with Tesla Roadster he used to own


DETROIT, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc gotmore bad news this week following the third fire in its Model Selectric sedan as actor George Clooney complained about beingstuck on the side of the road in the Roadster sports car he usedto own.

Clooney, currently starring in the movie "Gravity", wasasked by Esquire magazine in an interview that was posted onlineon Monday whether he owned a Tesla car.

"I had a Tesla," Clooney told the magazine. "I was one ofthe first cats with a Tesla. I think I was, like, No. 5 on thelist. But I'm telling you, I've been on the side of the road awhile in that thing, and I said to them, 'Look, guys, why am Ialways stuck on the side of the fucking road? Make it work, oneway or another.'"

Tesla discontinued the Roadster and currently only sells theModel S sedan. Clooney last year auctioned off his Roadster forcharity for $99,000, according to media reports.

Last week, Tesla reported the third fire in the car inTennessee. Police reports said the veicle had run over a towhitch that punctured the armor plating that protects the batterypack of lithium-ion cells. Despite no injuries in any of theaccidents, the headlines about the fires have been unwelcomenews for a company whose stock had risen sixfold in the firstnine months of the year before the first fire occurred on Oct.1.

Officials with the U.S. National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration said they were communicating with Tesla andTennessee authorities and were gathering information about theincident to determine if additional action was necessary.

The owner of the car, Dr. Juris Shibayama, said in a blogposted by Tesla over the weekend that the car warned him to pullover after he hit a trailer hitch in the road. After he got outof the car, it caught fire but the flames did not reach thepassenger cabin, Shibayama said, adding he would buy anotherModel S "in a heartbeat."

After the first fire, Tesla founder and Chief Executive ElonMusk defended the safety of electric cars, saying in a blog postthat there was "absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to powera car with a battery" than a conventional gasoline-poweredvehicle.


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