“Never been a single death or serious injury in a Tesla Model S anywhere in the world,” Elon Musk said on stage at Business Insider’s IGNITION 2013 conference.
Despite the recent, and widely publicized, Model S fires, Musk said that his cars are five times less likely to catch flame than gasoline cars.
“If we thought that a recall was warranted, we would do it immediately,” he said. “If fire is your concern, you could not be in a safer car.”
He described one of the recent crashes. The person behind the wheel was driving incredibly fast (the crash had four times more impact energy than the most strenuous regulatory test anywhere in the world, he said). The wheels were ripped off the car. It skidded along and crashed into a tree.
“You’re not supposed to survive a crash like that,” Musk said. “But the drivers and the passengers got out. And then sometime later there was a fire.”
The amazing thing is that they lived, he insisted, not that there was a fire in the front of the car.