Peter Levey of Vancouver is quite proud of his red Tesla Model 3. He and his wife have been planning a special road trip with their car since they first reserved one more than two years ago — down to San Diego and back along some of the most scenic roads in North America. The first leg of the journey was everything the couple hoped for — a jaunt down to Portland, Oregon. The journey covered 322 miles and used only 68 kWh of the 75 kWh available from the battery in their Long Range version of the Model 3, despite having the air conditioning on the entire way.
Then disaster struck. At an intersection with coastal highway 101, they were rammed from behind by a Dodge sedan. According to police, the hulking gasmobile was traveling at about 40 mph when it struck the rear of the Tesla. Levey and his wife were uninjured. Then something totally unexpected happened. His cell phone rang. It was Tesla calling. Levey tells Teslarati the rest:
“I have to say two things, and they are both about Tesla, the company, and their response to us. About a minute and a half to two minutes after the time of impact, my cellphone rang, and I looked at it, and I didn’t recognize the number — it was a 1-877. It turned out to be Tesla Roadside Assistance, and their first question was ‘Our computers show that you suffered a major impact. Are you guys okay? Were you in an accident?’ and I cannot tell you how comforting that was.
“It was just amazing. There we were — we felt alone, we felt isolated, we didn’t feel like talking to the guy behind us for obvious reasons, and there comes a call, and it’s from your car company. So we were incredibly impressed by that. And later in the afternoon, and later in the evening, Tesla Roadside Assistance worked diligently with us to try and get the car into Towing Mode, to give us everything we could try. It was most impressive.”
The front of the Dodge was heavily damaged. The rear of the Model 3? Not so much. The Tesla is now at a factory-approved body shop awaiting repairs. Considering it got whacked hard by such a behemoth, the damage to the Tesla is remarkably slight. Check out this video Peter Levey made of the car after the accident.
There’s more to this story. “The next day, when I got home from Vancouver, I got another call from the head of safety engineering, and he wanted to find out how we were. He also wanted to find out ‘What can we do to make this car safer? What can we do to give an even greater measure of safety to the occupants?’ and that was mind-blowing. I’ve never had that from any car company, and I understand why people now say the Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 are the safest cars on the road. That kind of response inspires confidence among customers. They don’t abandon them when accidents happen,” Levey says.
Put another feather in Tesla’s cap. It’s easy to say a company is concerned about safety, but it is one thing to talk the talk, and quite another to walk the walk. Next time you consider buying a new car, ask yourself, “How would the manufacturer respond if I got in a serious collision?” There are some things you just can’t put a price on.
Related: The EV Safety Advantage (2018)
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