Video: Tesla Explodes After Crashing Into Tow Truck While on Autopilot

A Tesla Model 3 car caught fire after crashing in Moscow on Saturday evening, according to reports.

The vehicle slammed into a tow truck that was parked by the interior divider on a highway at around 9 p.m. local time, Reuters reported.

The driver, Alexei Tretyakov, 41, said he was traveling at the speed limit of 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour when he veered into the tow truck. He said he didn't see the vehicle.

Tretyakov—head of the Russian investment firm Arikapital—said he was using the car's driver-assist autopilot system at the time of the crash, although he was still holding the steering wheel, REN TV reported.

One eyewitness in a car on the other side of the Moscow ring road—known as as the MKAD—captured the aftermath of the crash on camera, in footage that was later posted on social media.

The eyewitness is filming the other side of the ring road as they pass the crashed Tesla when the vehicle explodes, engulfing the car in flames and thick black smoke. Seconds later, another explosion occurs.

Footage shown on Russian News Channel Rossiya 24 showed that the only part of the car remaining after the fire was the metal frame.

Tretyakov was traveling with his two children when the crash occurred. Fortunately, all three managed to escape the vehicle before the two explosions. The driver suffered a broken leg in the collision while the children were left with bruises, the news channel reported.

Tesla—founded by billionaire Elon Musk—has said that the Model 3 "was engineered to be the safest car ever built" among those tested by automotive safety watchdog the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with the "lowest probability of injury."

But last week the U.S. Department of Transportation released documents in response to a freedom of information request from legal transparency group PlainSite, which revealed that the NHTSA had sent the company a cease-and-desist letter for making "misleading statements" with regards to the safety of the Model 3.

It was also revealed that the NHTSA had issued at least five subpoenas requesting more information from Tesla about crashes in which their vehicles were involved, Reuters reported.

In response to the release of the documents, Tesla defended the Model 3 safety claims, arguing that they were based on the NHTSA's data.

Currently, Tesla's Autopilot does not support full-self driving capabilities meaning the driver must be engaged with driving at all times, TechRepublic reported. However, the system can perform several functions, such as detecting nearby obstacles and adjusting the vehicle's speed.

Tesla model 3
The Tesla Model 3 on display in Los Angeles, California on November 29, 2018 at Automobility L.A. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images