Photo: Axa Insurance
Axa Insurance, which faked Tesla Model S batteries igniting in a staged crash, has publicly apologized for its actions. The company acknowledged that not only was the fire staged, but also the damage to the bottom of the car, which could potentially lead to a fire in the event of a real accident.
AXA Switzerland, which has been on the market for over 40 years, was recently at the center of a scandal by faking an electric car fire from a staged accident. The insurance company, in order to demonstrate the vulnerability of the bottom of the Tesla Model S, which can lead to a battery fire, simulated an accident in which the Model S allegedly accelerates strongly, enters a springboard, bounces, rolls over in the air and falls on the roof onto the ground. In the video, you can see how the rear bumper of the car comes off and the bottom of the electric car is also damaged, after which smoke and sparks of flame begin to escape, so it seemed that the vehicle's battery caught fire. Any inexperienced observer would surely have thought that the Tesla Model S battery caught fire easily. The company's initial press release about the test also did not clarify the details of their demonstration, only suggesting how unsafe electric vehicles, and Tesla cars, in particular, are.
24auto.de was the first to draw attention to the fraud and thanks to their quick reaction, several media outlets and blogs published revealing articles to help clarify the situation. Now AXA Switzerland has decided to issue a public apology, which may at least partially mitigate the harm of their false report.
First of all, the company said that its tests cannot be compared with crash tests conducted in accordance with the Euro NCAP standard, thereby trying not to question the work of the car testing organization. Obviously, after such a major fake demonstration, AXA's tests and reports should now always be viewed with a serious grain of salt, as one can never be sure that the company will not repeat such a stunt again.
AXA wrote that it found a “posteriori” (knowledge gained from experience) that its test and press release could mislead the public, in particular people who were not present at the site during the test. The company admitted that it simulated the Tesla Model S accident, from which it first pulled out the battery. In addition, AXA reported that the car was set on fire remotely. The company has clarified that the Model S crash test did not result in damage to the underbody of the vehicle, potentially causing a battery fire, during the actual crash. This means that this staging test did not confirm this accident scenario, which means that under such circumstances, the bottom of the Tesla Model S will not be damaged.
AXA admitted that they planned and conducted their test incorrectly and wrote that they were sorry for what they had done. The company apologized, although it did not specify to whom.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.