International insurer Axa successfully faked a Tesla battery fire in a crash test video posted online in late August. Several obstacle-jumping tests designed to flip the Tesla Model S onto the roof were performed using a rolling chassis, and the “explosion” and eventual fire were staged using fireworks. NPR report.
Axa issued a statement Thursday, acknowledging that the “test” was staged and apologizing for the “false impression” to the contrary. He said he was only trying to encourage safe behavior, not accusing Tesla of taking an above-average fire risk.
“Statistics from AXA Switzerland show that drivers of electric vehicles are 50% more likely to crash and damage their vehicles than drivers of conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines.” said the company. “Statistics also show that drivers of more powerful electric vehicles damage their own cars or those of others more frequently. At the same time – raise awareness of the risks that may arise in accidents involving battery-powered vehicles.”
“When simulating an accident scenario where a battery-powered car catches fire, various safety measures are taken to protect the audience,” he continued. “For example, no battery cells were used in the test vehicle, and subsequent fires were extinguished under controlled conditions. Additionally, crash tests on Tesla vehicles revealed a type of damage likely to spark. did not cause an undercarriage fire in the battery, as the images appear to suggest. , i.e. the press release should have made a clear reference to this fact…and the associated images that were made available.”
“AXA Switzerland’s crash tests are preventive and are used to flag risks derived from claims statistics for Switzerland’s largest auto insurer, as well as discussions on emerging trends and potential risks. It is also used to predict and initiate the risk of accidents on a generic, non-manufacturer, non-model-specific basis and is not comparable to standardized Euro NCAP crash tests. ‘ said.
Somehow, Axa felt that removing the electrical components from the vehicle and taking it off the stunt ramp sent a message about the dangers of electric vehicles in the real world. The irony seems to be lost on Axa executives, or at least on its communications team. Hey, at least we know that Tesla’s roof structure can handle all the weight except for the battery pack, which is quite heavy.