An insurance company has faked a Tesla battery fire and crash as part of a bizarre showcase to show that electric cars cause more accidents.

Tesla vehicles have been tested by many auto safety agencies around the world, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which most recently gave the Tesla Model Y its highest possible safety rating.

When I received an email telling me that an insurance company crash tested the Tesla Model S last week, I expected to see yet again segment-leading results, but instead they talked about how they managed to “flip the vehicle and it caught on fire.”

I quickly dismissed the report after seeing how ridiculous their crash test looked like and the fact that they decided to use a Model S that is at least six years old:

It made no sense to me so I decided not to report on it, but now it turns out that the crash test was even more bizarre than I thought.

24auto.de confirmed that AXA Insurance completely faked the crash by pulling the vehicle to launch and then activating pyrotechnics to fake a fire:

The alleged crash test by Axa insurance is increasingly turning out to be a show event without any real gain in knowledge: As the company admitted at the request of 24auto.de, there were no batteries in the tested vehicles . According to the press office, “demonstrating a battery fire would have been too dangerous due to the guests present, which is why the battery cells of the electric cars were removed before the tests”. With the same reasoning, the insurance company had also ignited the fire of a tested Tesla Model S with pyrotechnics itself.

The entire “crash test” showcase was part of AXA’s promotion of a report where they claimed that electric vehicles cause more collisions with damage:

“A look at the AXA statistics shows that drivers of electric cars cause 50 percent more collisions with damage to their own vehicles than those of conventional combustion engines. Drivers of high-performance electric cars cause more than twice as much damage to themselves through collisions as those of standard combustion vehicles.”

Of course, you can make data say many things, but in this case, AXA has decided not to compare vehicles per segment. Indeed, electric vehicles on average accelerate quicker due to the instant torque and some people can’t handle the power, which can lead to crashes.

It looks like the Tesla crash theatrics were just produced to illustrate that. Is it worth it?

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