in

Tesla Puffs Out its Chest About Model S Crash with BMW M5, But is it Like That?


Electric carmaker Tesla has shared an interesting story from one of its customers who was involved in an accident with a BMW M5 E60 V10.

The crash, filmed from a dash-cam mounted on a Model S, occurred in May of 2013 (according to the video date) when Tesla owner and driver Mr. Vernon H. encountered an M5 at a “four way blind intersection in a quiet, unlit, residential neighborhood”.

“A teenage boy driving a BMW M5 at approximately 60 miles per hour [96km/h] completely ignored his stop sign and impacted the front end of my Model S,” said Vernon in a blog post on Tesla’s site.

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, with the Tesla occupants suffering some minor bruises from the airbags, and the BMW teen driver escaping uninjured.

As one would imagine for Tesla to post this story, there’s a lot of bragging going on with Vernon stating that the M5 suffered “unbelievable amount of damage” after the “BMW had hit me hard enough that he had flipped and rolled his car at least twice and bounced off a large tree“.

He then goes on to write that, “my Model S, on the other hand, had damage to the front bumper and looked pristine rearward of the bumper. When I looked in the bushes, I saw that the BMW had hit me with enough force to completely snap off a rear wheel and suspension.”

You can read Vernon’s account of the incident in full below, but before you do, allow me to mention a few things from the perspective of someone who read the story and watched the video.

Looking at the pictures and without seeing the video or knowing the exact circumstances of the crash, one could embrace Mr. Vernon’s enthusiasm about the heavy damages sustained by the BMW and the chest thumping about how the Tesla survived with only a broken bumper, but doing so, would be wrong.

What you need to take into consideration is the speed, mass, direction, approach / departure angles, and the contact point of each vehicle involved in this collision. Whereas the Tesla was virtually rolling down the road at a low speed, the BMW was visibly going faster, and more crucially, the Model S’ was moving forward when its tougher front end hit the M5 while traveling in a different direction on its softer side, starting from the corner of the front bumper.

I’m sure someone with a physics degree can give a far better and more scientific explanation (feel free to do so in the comments), but in the end, the M5 was effectively T-boned, forcing it to violently change course, going off the road, before tumbling and smashing into a tree, which is what caused most of the damage you see in the pictures – not the encounter with the Tesla.

Yes, the Tesla’s airbags saved its passengers from potentially serious injuries, but I think the fact that the teen driver made it out alive and unhurt (according to Vernon’s account) from such a forceful rollover accident, sounds far more impressive to my ears…

By John Halas

Story References: Tesla Motors / Thanks to Raphael from Autofilou for the tip!

Mr. Vernon H’s account of the accident from Tesla Motors’ blog:

“I’ve used this incident as a teaching point to my teenagers that no matter how defensively you drive, or how confident you are of your surroundings, disaster can always strike. Given this reality of life, I’m glad that I drive the safest car on the road.

I wanted to write and share what I experienced when my Tesla Model S was involved in a major traffic collision. I had been driving my 60kwh Model S for about three months. I was thrilled with my purchase, having done a family road trip from the San Francisco Bay area to Southern California and Las Vegas over spring break. We never experienced any range anxiety, paid a grand total of three dollars for charging the entire trip and astounded bellmen and valets everywhere we went when the five of us would exit the car and unload seemingly endless amounts of luggage.

Needless to say, I was devastated when we were involved in a major collision. My wife and I, as well as another couple, were going home on a Friday night – my wife’s birthday. We were crossing a four way blind intersection in a quiet, unlit, residential neighborhood, when without warning, out of the corner of my eye, I saw headlights approaching at an extreme rate of speed and heard the loud roar of an engine. I barely had time to shout an expletive before the other car struck us and my airbags deployed.

It turns out that a teenage boy driving a BMW M5 at approximately 60 miles per hour completely ignored his stop sign and impacted the front end of my Model S. Everyone in the car confirmed that they were all right and exited the car. I called Tesla service at almost midnight and, to my surprise, someone answered the phone and was able to give me advice on securing the car for towing.

The police and fire department arrived within minutes and informed me that the other driver had come to a stop down the road; I had previously thought it was a hit and run. When I examined the other car, I saw an unbelievable amount of damage. The BMW had hit me hard enough that he had flipped and rolled his car at least twice and bounced off a large tree; he was on his wheels facing the opposite direction of his initial travel, and the car had experienced an incredible amount of damage from the impact and rollovers.

My Model S, on the other hand, had damage to the front bumper and looked pristine rearward of the bumper. When I looked in the bushes, I saw that the BMW had hit me with enough force to completely snap off a rear wheel and suspension. Luckily, the driver of the BMW was dazed but otherwise appeared uninjured.

I am enclosing some pictures of the cars involved in the collision as well as dashcam footage. When you examine the images taken at the moment of impact, you can see that the Model S barely moved laterally when the M5 hit our front end. The occupants experienced a slight jostling and the only injuries sustained were bruises due to impact from the lower airbags.

In a previous iteration of my career, I was a Navy Flight Surgeon assigned to a Marine Corps F/A-18 squadron where my training and duties included aircraft mishap investigation. When I examine the aftermath of my incident, I am convinced that fortuitous timing and the solid construction of my Tesla Model S saved our lives, the lives of another couple and prevented four young children from being orphaned.”

[embedded content]

PHOTO GALLERY

Tesla-Accident-1Tesla-Accident-2Tesla-Accident-3Tesla-Accident-4


Written by Lewis Shaw

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Best satrical craigslist ad. Ever.

Chevy Equinox ad is a doggone tear jerker