A Tesla owner says a man set his electric car on fire, and the EV's Sentry Mode captured it on video, report says
A Tesla with Sentry Mode reportedly captured footage of a man setting the EV on fire.
The video, posted by a news outlet, appears to show a man pouring liquid on the car and setting it ablaze.
The Tesla owner told local news he was visiting a friend when the incident occurred overnight.
A Tesla customer's Model S cameras appeared to capture footage of a man setting the car on fire last week.
The Tesla owner, J.R. Harriston, told KREM2 that he was visiting a friend in Spokane, Washington when his car was set ablaze overnight. He told the news outlet that Tesla's Sentry Mode recorded the incident, which took place at about 12:40 a.m. Saturday.
Harriston shared the video with the news station. It appeared to show a man walking up to the car with two cans and pouring the liquid on the electric car. The footage then flashes bright orange as the car is apparently engulfed in flames.
"I can't fathom myself wanting to set fire to anything for any political reason, whatever," Harriston told local news. "I just, I don't get it."
Harriston told the publication that he had owned the Tesla for just over a year and it was his "dream car." A motive for the apparent crime has not been reported.
The Spokane Police Department did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication, but told the local news outlet that it is investigating the incident as a case of arson. Insider was unable to reach Harriston.
Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have also become increasingly polarizing in recent years. Some Tesla owners told Insider's Tim Levin this year that they planned to ditch their cars because of Elon Musk's antics. A Tesla owner told CNN last year that they felt the electric car was "the new MAGA hat."
Electric cars have also become targets for opponents of the EV revolution. Vandals have pulled stunts like stuffing ground beef into EV charging stations filling charging stations with gas trucks so that EVs aren't able to recharge — a practice known as ICEing.
Fortunately for Tesla owners, the vehicles have Sentry Mode, which records video of the car's surroundings when it detects "suspicious activity." The feature has caught Tesla vandals in the past.
The cameras have sparked privacy concerns, however. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Tesla employees had shared images from customers' footage. Tesla has not commented on the issue, but the report sparked a lawsuit.
Watch the video from the Sentry Cameras on the local news outlet's website.
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