Automobiles can be dangerous objects, especially when moving at highway speeds. The July 4th holiday in the US, which took place this past weekend, is often an extra-dangerous time on America's roads, with an average of 127 deaths from car crashes in recent years. This year, there were at least two Tesla Model S crashes over the holiday, and despite a spectacular fire in one of the incidents, both of the drivers survived the incidents.
The most dramatic crash happened when a Model S was apparently stolen and taken for a joy ride. Tesla told Bloomberg that the company is eager to take a closer look at what's left of the crashed vehicle, which snapped in half. "There aren't so many S's involved in major crashes, and certainly not quite like this one, so we absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened," said Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule. Tesla spokesperson Liz Jarvis-Shean told AutoblogGreen that, "We're working with relevant authorities and will be examining the car as we would with any accident."
"We absolutely want to have a look to understand what happened." – Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule
What isn't yet clear is how the reported thief was able to drive the stolen Model S (Tesla has not yet responded to our questions on this front). Media reports say it was someone at the Tesla store who reported the theft to police as it was happening, so it would seem that Tesla knew about the incident well before the crash. Whether there enough time to tell the police where the car was going or to deactivate the car is unknown.
In another tragic crash that happened this weekend, a Model S rear ended a Toyota Corolla. Three of the occupants of the Toyota were killed but the Tesla driver only suffered "minor injuries," according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Model S received five stars in the NHTSA's crash tests and has had safety improvements since those tests were conducted. Previous Tesla's have caught fire but no serious injuries have been reported.