Tesla has become one of the most popular cars in the world in a relatively short amount of time, and Tesla fan accounts on the internet are always eager to share pictures, videos and impressions about practically anything involving a Tesla, given the relative newness of the EV brand.
In one post from September, Teslaconomics (@Teslaconomics), a 200,000-follower account on X (formerly known as Twitter) that posts Tesla content, covered the effect of a tree branch falling on top of one.
Many people around the world still fail to understand how strong Tesla glass is pic.twitter.com/yA0Ray2hjH
— Teslaconomics (@Teslaconomics) September 18, 2023
“Many people around the world still fail to understand how strong Tesla glass is,” wrote.
The video in question was shot by one Tesla owner assessing the damage to his electric vehicle after a tree branch fell on top of it. “The car seems to be doing fairly [all right],” he begins, optimistically. “However, you can tell that the roof is shattered in multiple places.”
“I tried to get a little bit off, but now it’s bending the A frame,” he continues, concluding, “The car is pretty, pretty screwed right now. Oh, well. That’s what insurance is for, right?”
It is certainly a positive that the tree branch did not completely cave in the Tesla’s roof, and the car owner is fortunate that his insurance will likely cover the damages. However, it is not all good news when it comes to Teslas and insurance.
Teslas typically cost more to insure than other types of vehicles (including other types of electric vehicles) because their parts are not as mass-produced as other automakers’ car parts, which makes their repair costs 27% higher than those of the average car, according to Slash Gear.
As a result, insurance companies are opting to scrap and write off Teslas that have been in accidents at higher rates than the industry norm, according to a January 2023 report from Reuters, instead of paying to fix them. The end result is an incredible amount of wasted materials. Reuters added that Tesla has said it intends to make “design and software changes to its vehicles to lower repair costs and insurance premiums.”
“It’s remarkable how small changes in the design of the bumper (and) providing spare parts needed for collision repair have an enormous effect on the repair cost,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a 2022 fourth-quarter earnings call. “Most accidents are actually small — a broken fender or scratched side of the car.”
So, while this Tesla might have survived its encounter with a tree branch so far, it may not survive its encounter with the insurer, at least if the repairs need to go beyond glass replacements.
Teslanomics also posted a video in reply to this X post about the fallen tree showing an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety test applying pressure to a Tesla to demonstrate how much force it can withstand.
“Tesla’s glass is truly impressive,” wrote one commenter, replying to the original X post.
“That is the metal holding up, not the glass,” wrote another. “Metal is supposed to hold up against a fallen tree. But most legacy cars would have their roofs bent anyway.”
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