Crash Test Dummy

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Crash test fail – AXA apologizes

Updated on September 30, 2022

On August 25, 2022, AXA Switzerland carried out its annual crash tests in Dübendorf in the presence of media representatives, customers, and other guests. The event subsequently provoked numerous – and in some cases controversial – reactions. As announced in our prior statements, we have therefore analyzed these tests in detail. 

Our analysis found that this year's crash tests and related communications did not meet the expected standard of excellence to which we aspire. For example, the staged crash of a Tesla, which was set on fire artificially for illustrative purposes, was misunderstood by some parties who were not present and were thus not able to place the crash and the processes in the correct context, given that they were not party to the related commentary. 

Specifically, various safety precautions had to be taken to protect spectators, which influenced the test scenario. For example, the battery cells were removed from the test vehicle in advance, and the fire visible after the collision was started in a controlled manner. The crash in fact did not cause the type of damage to the underside of the vehicle that would be likely to spark a fire. 

We very much regret the confusion caused regarding the safety of electric vehicles and wish to express our sincere apologies. At no time was it our intention to give the impression that Tesla vehicles or other electric vehicles catch fire any more frequently than combustion-engine vehicles. In fact, we stated explicitly both at the event and in the press release that electric vehicles do not catch fire any more frequently than traditional vehicles.

To avoid further misunderstandings, we have decided to remove the press release and the images of August 25, 2022 and related statements from our website, and request that media representatives refrain from any further dissemination of the concerned text, photos, and videos.

About AXA

Around two million customers trust in AXA’s expertise in personal, property, liability, legal protection and life insurance as well as healthcare and occupational benefits insurance. With innovative products and services in areas such as mobility, healthcare, pensions and business together with simple, digital processes, AXA is a supportive partner for its customers. Using its «Know You Can» brand promise, it also encourages them to believe in themselves, even in challenging situations. Around 4,500 employees and the 3,000-strong sales force personally dedicate themselves to this vision. With more than 340 branch offices, AXA has Switzerland’s largest distribution network in the insurance industry. AXA Switzerland is part of the AXA Group and generated business volume of CHF 5.5 billion in 2021.

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