Faraday Future’s struggles are well-known, but it appears one fiery incident flew under the radar.
A tipster recently alerted us to an FF 91 prototype that burned to the ground in Cajon Pass, California last month. The story was originally reported by the Victor Valley News Group, but didn’t get much attention as the publication simply described it as a “prototype vehicle.”
We reached out to Faraday Future and the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, but neither responded to requests for more information. However, pictures posted by Victor Valley News show the unmistakable front fascia and wheels of the FF 91. That’s about all we can see as the fire extensively damaged the passenger compartment, while the rear end is completely gone.
Also: Faraday Future Drama Continues As FF 91 Delayed And CEO Forced Out By Board
The cause remains unclear, but the publication reported the prototype caught fire on Monday, November 14th. The report goes onto say the vehicle was “fully engulfed” when fire fighters arrived, but they were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.
Our tipster claimed the vehicle was “having issues” and caught on fire a few hours after leaving the company’s plant in Hanford. We haven’t been able to verify that and Faraday Future hasn’t responded to our questions about the fire or whether or not the prototype had any known problems.
The timing of the fire is sure to raise eyebrows as it came two weeks before CEO Carsten Breitfeld was ousted by Faraday Future’s Board of Directors. Our tipster suggested the two events were connected and one of the reasons for Breitfeld’s removal.
That being said, the company’s original statement on the firing chalked it up to a comprehensive evaluation of Faraday Future’s performance since it went public last year. As we have previously reported, the company’s stock has dropped nearly 98% as drama and delays have overshadowed the FF 91.
Numerous automakers have seen their prototypes go up in smoke, but Faraday Future had been claiming deliveries would begin before the end of the year. The company changed its tune on November 21st, when Breitfeld stated “We are currently developing revised budgets and production plans, and hope to be in a position to announce the timing of delivering the FF 91 to users shortly after funding is secured.”
The need for funding is a common refrain from Faraday and the company’s third quarter results painted a bleak picture as it revealed they only had $32 (£26 / €30.3) million in cash. Making matters worse, Faraday Future is expecting to “generate significant operating losses for the foreseeable future as we continue to incur expenses before generating meaningful revenue.”