Security footage of a Model S smoking and then bursting into flames has gone viral on Weibo, a Chinese social media service.
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A video of a Tesla Model S spontaneously catching fire in a Shanghai parking garage has started doing the rounds online, prompting the company to investigate.

The video recorded at 8.15pm Sunday night (local time) was, according to Weibo users, shot in a car park in Shanghai. A follow-up video reportedly shows three vehicles destroyed. It's not apparent from the video why the Model S began smoking and caught fire.

In a statement, Tesla said "we immediately sent a team onsite and we're supporting local authorities to establish the facts. From what we know now, no one was harmed."

The automaker insists electric vehicles are 10 times less likely to catch fire compared to cars with a traditional internal combustion engine.

Tesla is currently in the process of building its first factory in China at a site near Shanghai.

At present all Tesla cars sold in China are imported from the US, and are subject to heavy tariffs as part of the simmering trade war between the two economic superpowers.

The viral video comes days after Chinese automaker Nio confirmed one of its ES8 electric crossovers caught fire at a service centre in Xian. No injuries were reported from this incident, which is also under investigation.