After several Tesla Roadsters and an original Tzero were lost in a devastating fire earlier this month, we might lose another rare electric vehicle.
Fortunately, like with the fire, no one was hurt and we are only talking about material things, but it’s a bit of EV history nonetheless.
One of the few Tesla Model X Founder Series crashed into a stone wall last week – leaving the vehicle possibly totaled.
Sylvain Juteau, the founder of roulezelectrique.com, a French Canadian site that informs locals about electric vehicles and sells charging stations, won a Model X Founder Series as part of Tesla’s referral program last year.
The Founder Series is generally reserved for a few Tesla insiders, like Elon Musk himself, and a few important investors and friends of the company. Therefore, it is a rare vehicle that Juteau saw as a collection piece.
Last week, he was driving the electric SUV near Trois-Rivières in Québec when the vehicle swerved off his lane and into a stone wall next to the road.
Juteau thought that he was on Autopilot, but he is not entirely sure. He wrote on his website (translated from French):
“I thought I was on Autopilot (was it really activated or was I only believeing it to be activated, I don’t know) and I took my eyes off the road for a moment to change the song on the central display. When I looked up again, half the car was already off the road… I grabbed the wheel to steer away from the stone wall, but it was too late. Everything happened very fast.”
He is very familiar with the Autopilot and he took responsibility for the accident even if the system was on:
“The fault is not with Autopilot, which doesn’t replace the driver. I pay the cost for taking my eyes off the road, even if it was for a second.”
He posted pictures of the aftermath of the accident:
Juteau says that he was shaken by the accident but physically OK. The airbag deployed in the vehicle’s body took significant damages to the side and front.
The vehicle is now at Bugatti Montreal, the only Tesla Approved body shop in Québec, to get an evaluation. He still has hope that the vehicle will not be declared totaled, but it’s uncertain at this point.
He added that his morale took the biggest hit from the accident for having “damaged the only Model X Founder in all of Eastern Canada… a future vintage car.”