Back in 2019 we featured a story about a metallic light pole that had fallen onto a Tesla Model 3 with two people inside and we were really surprised and impressed that it didn’t break. It surely saved the occupants from injuries, and now it’s happened again, this time in China, and what fell on top of the Model 3 was no mere pole.
It was, in fact, a decorative plane tree that was lining a street in or around in a city somewhere in China fell onto the car as it was driving by. What’s peculiar about this case is that you don’t really see any roots sticking out at the base of the tree, which could mean it had died a long time ago but was left in the ground and its roots ultimately rotted away allowing it to simply fall like this.
Even the glass appears not to have shattered (although the video is too low quality to be able to tell) and another key point to make about this incident was that even though the car had a huge tree visibly pushing it down and pinning it to the ground, the driver’s door (with its glass intact) can be seen open in the video. This is consistent with the information that the driver suffered no injuries whatsoever and was able to get out of the car and walk away.
Tesla prides itself with the fact that when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tested the Model 3 back in 2018, it concluded that it had the lowest risk of potential injury out of all the cars they had ever tested. The manufacturer pointed out at the time that a Model 3’s roof would be able to withstand loads of four times its own weight with minimal deformation.
The Tesla Model S (of which the Model 3 is an evolution of in terms of its structure) actually broke the NHTSA’s roof strength testing machine. Recently, a Model Y or Model 3 (you can’t really tell which one it was because of the extensive damage to all panels) literally flew through a forest and again, it protected its driver, although in this instance, the glass roof did break.