Insurance company

Insurance company AXA apologizes for Tesla battery fire

Earlier this week, we told you about the Tesla crash test of the insurance company AXA. Essentially, the company ran over an older Tesla Model S, which flipped over and caught fire. The aim was to show that the batteries of electric vehicles could catch fire if the chassis of the car was scratched. Now AXA has issued a lengthy written apology, which it posted on its website.

While AXA’s intentions may have been to educate people, the crash tests backfired. The older Tesla Model S was arguably not a good example as there are plenty of much newer electric vehicles to use for such tests. Also, the car had no battery at all.

AXA removed the battery from the Model S for safety reasons and replaced it with pyrotechnics. Of course, the car couldn’t run without the batteries, so the insurance company had to pull it up a ramp and flip it over, simulating an accident. The pyrotechnics instantly caused the car to burst into flames on its underside.

AXA Switzerland’s apology took the form of a public letter, which it published in French. We translated it to share the details with you. AXA wrote via Google Translate:

“We regret that the 2022 edition of the crash tests could have given a bad image of electromobility or created misunderstandings about it. We are convinced that the switch to electric will play a central role in the future of the traffic. That’s why we think it’s important to take a close look at electromobility and the safety it offers.”

Despite AXA issuing an apology saying it didn’t mean to mislead people, and saying it believes in the future of electric vehicles, it then proceeded to defend it and further amplified the aspects negatives related to electric vehicles.

According to AXA Switzerland, owners of electric vehicles are responsible for 50% of accidents causing more damage than gasoline-powered cars. The insurance company notes that since electric vehicles are more powerful vehicles, they are more likely to cause damage. As an insurance company, AXA believes that part of its job is to share this data with the public to encourage safety.

AXA says it didn’t think the simulated crash tests would cause such a stir, even though the people we weren’t on hand during the tests weren’t as familiar with the scenario and situation. When such a video is posted online, it is shared amid misinformation and kind of starts its own fire.

The insurance company admits that in hindsight, it could and should have performed the tests differently. He reiterated that the press release made it clear that electric vehicles are “no more prone to fires than conventional combustion vehicles. Nevertheless, it must be recognized that the images published give a different impression when taken out of context.”

As always, head over to our popular comments section and let us know what you think. Do you agree or disagree with AXA’s decision to record and share footage of a fake battery fire? Do you think the insurance company was right to apologize?