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British TV director's Tesla bursts into flames sitting in traffic

Our Foreign Staff
Actress Mary McCormack and husband Michael Morris - Invision

Actor Mary McCormack has shared video of her British husband's Tesla car shooting flames while in Southern California traffic.

McCormack, best known for her roles in The West Wing and Murder One, said her husband Michael Morris, the director and producer, had been driving along a major route through Los Angeles when the fire was first spotted by other road users.

She said there was "no accident" and the incident was "out of the blue."

"This is what happened to my husband and his car today. No accident, out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard. 

"Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank god my three little girls weren’t in the car with him."

Actress Mary McCormack and husband Michael Morris Credit: AP

A former director of the Old Vic theatre in London, Morris has produced episodes of hit Netflix shows including the controversial drama 13 Reasons Why, Kingdom and Bloodline.

He also directed episodes of House of Cards, Preacher and Brothers and Sisters.

McCormack, who also appeared in 1998 blockbuster Deep Impact, has been married to Morris since 2003.

Sheriff's Lt. William Nash in West Hollywood said on Saturday that deputies saw smoke coming from the electric vehicle and then fire.

Deputies requested help from firefighters who quickly extinguished the flames.

Tesla called the incident "an extraordinarily unusual occurrence" and said it was investigating.

The company claims its vehicles are at least 10 times less likely than a gas car to catch fire, citing data from the National Fire Protection Association and US Federal Highway Administration.

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Nash said the driver, who was not named in a log entry, was out of the car and there were no injuries. Nash said the log entry cited the possibility of a faulty battery.

Representatives for McCormack did not immediately return a message on Saturday seeking comment. She is married to director Michael Morris. 

Tesla has drawn scrutiny in recent months over incidents involving its autopilot feature

However, Elon Musk, Tesla founder, has hit back at reports, announcing plans to launch a ratings site that would critique publications and individual journalists.