Tesla Model S battery bursts into flames, car “totally destroyed” in 5 minutes

A global insurance company admits to staging a Tesla battery crash test

The recent Tesla bursting into flames is now known to be staged by a global insurance company. The Insurance firm Axa claims that it has staged the incident to show how electric cars can quickly erupt into dangerous incidents. Interestingly, the vehicle has no batter as Axa removed it ahead of the demo.

Tesla Model S battery bursts into flames, car “totally destroyed” in 5  minutes
Image credits- Ars Technica

A video of the crash test posted by the Swiss Auto Trade Association shows a yellow Tesla hurtle toward an obstacle and then flip over, landing upside down on its roof. Moments later, a pop erupts from the engine, and the front half of the car bursts into flames as the crowd in attendance claps.

On Thursday, Axa Switzerland said in a statement that it regretted the crash test gave a “false impression” and created “confusion.” The company said it had to take steps to protect spectators during the demonstration of a battery-powered car going up in flames. The car’s battery was removed and the fire was put out “under controlled conditions,” the firm said. “In addition, the Crash Test with a Tesla vehicle did not cause the type of damage to the undercarriage that would be likely to spark a battery fire as the images would appear to suggest,” Axa added.


Starting the fire

The company admitted in a statement to the German website 24auto.de that it used pyrotechnics to ignite the fire. Axa, which conducts crash tests to raise issues of road safety, said its own data shows that electric vehicles don’t catch fire at a higher rate than combustion-engine automobiles.

Axa Switzerland’s statement also noted its support for the electric car industry: “We firmly believe that e-vehicles will play a key role in the automotive future. This is why we see it as important to take an in-depth look at electromobility and its safety.” Experts estimate that electric cars may actually catch fire less often than their gasoline-fueled peers, but the fierce blazes can be harder to put out. Still, there is a risk that electric vehicle batteries can ignite, and several automakers have issued recalls in recent years over concerns that their batteries could catch fire.

While the incident is an interesting experiment. It also bought up the need to think about whether an electric vehicle could be dangerous. However, it could have damaged the impression of the public on electric vehicles. Fuel-powered vehicles have also been built in dangerous aspects in the past. Countries have been implementing policies to push electric vehicle transition and change the perception of buying a traditional combustion engine vehicle.