A Tesla Model 3 surprisingly survived a storm in the Netherlands last week. Twitter user Ali Lakrakbi shared pictures of a parked Model 3, squatting with a massive tree lying on its roof, alongside storm debris scattered around it. One would expect a car to get crushed under the weight of a tree, but this particular Tesla appeared to remain intact.

We’ve seen several instances of trees falling on Teslas in the past, but the latest incident seems like a rare case where the vehicle was completely intact.


The Tesla App notified the owner about the incident with an alarm, following which he used the sentry mode – which activates the vehicle's cameras for remote surveillance – to find a full tree lying over his car. Thankfully, he wasn’t inside the vehicle, and it appeared like nobody was injured.

The only visible damage from the outside was a slightly caved-in rear roof portion. From the inside though, the rear window appears completely shattered, with shards of glass lying on the rear parcel shelf.

It may not be the heaviest of the trees, but the incident is still worth highlighting the Model 3’s structural strength. The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) listed the Model 3 as a top safety pick for four consecutive years between 2019-2022 in the midsize luxury car segment.

All Model 3s manufactured between 2017 and 2023 have a roof strength-to-weight ratio of 5.85, which simply means that the vehicle can withstand a force 5.85 times its weight, according to IIHS. The organisation lists the Model 3’s curb weight at 1,616 kilograms (3,563 pounds), and the peak force it can withstand is a whopping 9,450 kg (20,835 lbs).

Although, it’s common for four-door saloons to have a high roof strength-to-weight ratio. Many cars in the segment have earned a similar rating. IIHS also noted that it stopped conducting roof strength tests because “virtually all vehicles were earning good ratings.”

But Teslas generally have decent safety scores – the Model S and Model Y earned EuroNCAP's highest overall safety score in 2022.

Tesla uses a mix of high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel for its core structural components, as per an image that surfaced on Reddit long ago.

In 2018, Tesla said, “In the event that a rollover does occur, our internal tests show that the Model 3 body structure can withstand roof-crush loads equivalent to more than four times its own weight and with very little structural deformation. NHTSA’s standards only require that cars withstand loads of three times their own weight.”

At the start of 2023, all four passengers of a Model Y survived a terrifying crash after the EV plunged 250 feet down a cliff at Devil’s Side, California.