Axa Insurance today apologized for faking a Tesla battery fire. A few days ago, the company was on a mission to prove that a Tesla battery could catch fire and simulate testing on public roads. The tests included a Tesla Model S, fireworks, did not include batteriesthe main object they were trying to prove would catch fire.
Today, Axa issued a letter of apology saying it regrets that this year’s crash tests “may have created a bad impression or misunderstanding of electric vehicles.”
Axa, which has been working to improve road safety for more than 40 years, said its crash tests are part of its preventive efforts to educate the public. The company later said that, according to its statistics, EV owners “ 50% more collisions that damage their vehicles compared to drivers of conventional internal combustion engines.
“It also shows that drivers of powerful electric vehicles are more likely to damage their own vehicles and those of third parties. It’s these statistics that we wanted to highlight in the trial,” said Axa.
The company said it realized these particular tests could be misleading, especially for those who were not on site during the tests or who were unable to attend the tests at various stages.
“During a simulation of an accident in which an electric vehicle caught fire, measures had to be taken to ensure public safety. Therefore, the test car had no battery and the fire was started remotely. Additionally, crash tests conducted on Tesla-branded models showed no damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle that could have caused a battery fire, contrary to what the recorded images suggest. Therefore, this accident scenario was not confirmed in this test. Post-test communications, especially the press release and images provided, should have made this fact explicit. ”
“In retrospect, this test, which was intended to illustrate the assumed risks, should have been designed differently. We’ve made it clear in our press release that it’s unlikely to catch fire, but we have to realize that published images can make a different impression when taken out of context.”
“We apologize for any misunderstanding and apologize. We will re-analyze this year’s crash tests in detail, learn from it and use it to strengthen our road safety efforts in the future.”
It’s nice that Axa takes ownership here, but I find it strange that they take ownership after being called out by various media outlets for faking a battery fire. My question is still unanswered.
How is it legal for what kind of companies to openly test their vehicles in this way on public roads? They shouldn’t test cars in one place and set them on fire. Did they have a permit or some sort of agency approval for testing? Perhaps in Europe they do things differently. I’m not a crash test expert. I believe NHTSA has its own testing facility away from the public. I’m probably wrong.
If you want to do these tests the right way, you’ll need to find a safe, off-the-beaten-path location and test your EV with the battery in the vehicle.
Note: Johnna is a Tesla shareholder and supports its mission.