Insurance Company Admits it Staged Tesla Fire During Crash Test

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A video of a crash test posted by the Swiss Auto Trade Association shows a yellow Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) racing towards an obstacle and then flipping over, landing upside down on its roof. Moments later, a pop erupts from the engine and the front half of the car bursts into flames.

The insurance firm Axa was claiming to demonstrate how electric cars can quickly erupt into a dangerous blaze after an accident. However, the company is now under fire itself after admitting Thursday that the fire was staged.

Axa Switzerland said in a statement that it regretted the crash test gave a “false impression” and created “confusion.”

The company said it had to take steps to protect spectators during the demonstration of a battery-powered car going up in flames. The car’s battery was removed and the fire was put out “under controlled conditions,” the firm said.

“In addition, the Crash Test with a Tesla vehicle did not cause the type of damage to the undercarriage that would be likely to spark a battery fire as the images would appear to suggest,” Axa added. Admitting that they used pyrotechnics to ignite the fire.

Axa Switzerland’s statement also noted its support for the electric car industry: “We firmly believe that e-vehicles will play a key role in the automotive future. This is why we see it as important to take an in-depth look at electromobility and its safety.”