Never let a crisis go to waste, goes the saying. In this case, it’s an actress and her husband facing a car shortage and a rival automaker sensing an opportunity for a juicy dig.
Mary McCormack, who appeared on the endlessly referenced political drama The West Wing, tweeted a video of a Model S in flames Friday, claiming the blaze broke out “out of the blue” as her husband’s Tesla cruised through traffic in West Hollywood. She directed her tweet at Tesla.
General Motors has since capitalized on the unsolved blaze, offering McCormack and her husband, identified as director Michael Norris, a new Chevy Bolt.
@Tesla This is what happened to my husband and his car today. No accident,out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. 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 pic.twitter.com/O4tPs5ftVo
— Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) June 16, 2018
Both Tesla and an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the fire, which was not the result of any collision or known mishap. The NTSB told USA Today that this is not a formal investigation.
As reported by Jalopnik, GM saw an opportunity to make hay. In a subsequent tweet, Ray Wert, GM’s “head storyteller” and former Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief, said the automaker was offering a Bolt loaner to McCormack “so she has a more dependable electric vehicle to drive.”
— Ray Wert (@raywert) June 17, 2018
This is the kind of PR automakers dream of. However, GM maintains the offer a one-time occurrence, as Wert is apparently friends with McCormack’s sister.
Chevrolet’s Bolt remains a strong seller, thanks to its comparatively low price and 238-mile driving range. We won’t know exact details about its volume over the past three months until GM issues its quarterly sales report at the beginning of July, but HybridCars.com estimates the first five months of 2018 saw 6,545 Bolts leave lots in the United States. That places the little EV just behind the Tesla Model X in terms of year-to-date sales.
[Image: Mary McCormack/Twitter]