AXA Insurance, a $14 billion world-wide insurer headquartered in France released on Aug 25 an admittedly staged video of a Tesla Model S flying off a ramp and bursting into flames. Many industry watchers are labelling this as a publicity stunt by AXA. To their credit, they did state it was pyrotechnics. And on Sep 1 they issued a public apology.
Did they want to somehow prevent Tesla insurance from gaining a foothold in Germany? Or are they intending to use this to justify raising their currently competitive insurance rates for EVs?
Note the following details:
- The Model X shown at the beginning is the tow vehicle.
- There is no left ramp as they intended to roll the car over.
- The rear bumper cover is ripped off by some mechanism as the car passes the beginning of the ramp.
- At the 9-second mark you can see both door handles on the right side of the car are extended. This dual handle failure would be very unlikely and would keep the doors latched in any case. More likely they completely removed the door latches with an intent to intensify the experience for the viewer due to the doors flying open with the centrifugal force of the spinning car. There is only a right ramp.
- At the 11-second mark you can see there is no damage to the battery bottom plate
- At the 22-second mark an explosion and fire happens at the front of the car. The battery is centered in the car.
- The crowd starts to applaud as if on cue about 2 seconds before the small explosion and fire.
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