Tesla probes car fire in Shanghai

Tesla is building its first overseas car factory in Shanghai to tap into the world's biggest auto market (AFP Photo/WANG ZHAO)

US electric auto maker Tesla said Monday it had launched an investigation after a video circulating in China showed one of its cars suddenly burst into flames in a garage in Shanghai.

The security camera footage has become on the hottest topics on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform since it was posted on Sunday, now viewed 22 million times with the hashtag "Tesla self-ignites".

The video shows white smoke emerging from under what appears to be a Tesla Model S car in a parking garage before flames erupted around it. Other footage shows that the fire destroyed an Audi next to it.

"We're actively contacting and cooperating with relevant departments to learn more about the incident. Based on current information, there were no casualties," Tesla wrote on its official Weibo account.

It is the latest incident to hit Tesla this year, just as it is stepping up its presence in China.

In January, Tesla recalled over 14,000 Model S cars in China as part of the global automotive sector's effort to replace potentially dangerous airbags made by Japan's Takata.

In March, a labelling hiccup made Shanghai customs temporarily suspend clearance for a batch of Tesla’s cars.

The company is building its first overseas car factory in Shanghai to ramp up annual production, tapping into the world's biggest auto market and avoiding some of the impact of Sino-US trade tensions.