all very deliberate abuses of the battery, not simply failing to plug it in or driving it until it dies.
A lawyer would have a field day with Elon Musk's statement. But I'm not a lawyer, and probably you aren't either. If so, we should just wait for real scenarios to unfold. What happened to the Roadster can be written off as ancient history. Will the new Tesla support their customers? Let's hope that it will.
Do you have sources on the Volt?
There are many news articles on the subject; some blame Volt in some cases, and some show that Volt was not a cause in other cases. I cannot say that Volt is responsible for all the ills of the humanity, but chances are that one or two fires are caused by it. We know that its battery self-ignited after testing (that had been fixed.) We know that Karma self-ignited, for one reason or another (don't know and can't debate the exact cause.)
I do not separate plug-in hybrids from EVs because from the electric powertrain point of view they are the same. Volt goes pretty far in that aspect - it is entirely electric driven, and its gas engine is only used to charge batteries and to provide additional current at speeds above 70 mph (IIRC.) It's a complicated vehicle.
Yes, both links about Tesla are about the same incident - the reporter was testing if a Tesla Model S is capable of a road trip. Winter played a trick on him; if only the car hasn't lost half of the charge overnight everything would be fine; if the reporter would have charged the car fully (and not, per Tesla's advice, as much as he needed, mile-wise) then he would be also fine. There are far more links about this incident than these two, and the mudslinging was going strong at some point between Tesla and NYT.
With regard to water, there are several unique dangers of an EV that do not exist in a gas car. As matter of fact, a gas car becomes entirely inert in water, even if it was burning just a moment before hitting the water. An EV presents the following additional dangers:
1) The high voltage can leak onto elements of the chassis via water bridges and electrocute occupants. It is hard to predict what parts of the car will become conductive first and second and third. This determines what gets energized. Firemen are slowly getting trained on dealing with "live" EVs.
2) The DC potential that is present in the car will cause the water to conduct current; this will separate the water into hydrogen and oxygen. This is an explosive mixture of gases.
3) Overloading of the battery due to high and uncontrolled discharge through water will cause Li-Ion elements of the battery to overheat and self-ignite. Lithium burns in water just fine.
There is only one advantage that an EV has over a gas car in water: the leaking fuel will not pollute the river.