Through a concrete wall and into a large treeIt's a sad fact for all automakers that some people will have accidents with your vehicles. Sometimes it's a total fluke, sometimes people do stupid things with their cars and get themselves in trouble. It's not newsworthy anymore with most vehicles, but because electric cars are still a new thing to the mainstream and Tesla is under a spectacular amount of scrutiny, we're still at the point where every severe accident - especially if there's a photogenic fire - gets dissected by the media.
The latest one took place on Oct. 18 near Merida, Mexico. Here's the video of the burning remains of the Tesla:The impacts seem to have been quite severe. If you look closely, you'll see that the rear wheel that is visible is actually at a weird angle. About the event, Tesla wrote:
We were able to contact the driver quickly and are pleased that he is safe. This was a significant accident where the car was traveling at such a high speed that it smashed through a concrete wall and then hit a large tree, yet the driver walked away from the car with no permanent injury.
Walking off going through a concrete wall and landing into a large tree. Not bad! That's a more stringent test than anything the NHTSA would do...
Speaking of the NHTSA: "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no evidence that a Model S fire on a Washington state highway this month resulted from defects or violations of U.S. safety standards. In that Oct. 1 incident, the car struck metal debris that pierced its lithium-ion battery pack, according to state officials and Tesla."
I won't repeat everything I've written about how frequent car fires are with gasoline cars, you can read it all here, and read Elon Musk's explanation of the first fire. At some point EV fires will stop being newsworthy just like gasoline car fires aren't anymore, but I suppose we haven't reached that point so it's a good time to educate people on this.
If you are worried about the safety of the Model S, here's some evidence that it's one of the safest vehicles on the road: