Tesla's manufacturing and safety precautions built into their Model 3 cars were put to the test in what could be the first rollover accident involving a Model 3 unit.
A Reddit user by the name StapleGun said his wife was driving their Model 3 down a freeway at 70 miles per hour when she hit another vehicle, hit the median, and was sent rolling a few times before coming to a stop upside down.
"Figured I would share this since it may be the first rollover accident of a Model 3. It happened earlier this week, my wife was the only one in the car at the time and her memory of the events is blurry because everything happened so fast but the following is what we know," the redditor wrote of his wife.
"She was traveling on the freeway at approximately 70mph in the left lane. The car collided with a second vehicle in the middle lane. The front driver side of the Model 3 then hit the cement median with enough force to shear the front wheel off. Then the slide sideways and started rolling. A witness said the car rolled "several times" before finally settling upside down. The other car also hit the median, though much less violently, and we believe the driver was uninjured."
Despite that damage, the car's owner said the car performed "spectacularly from a safety standpoint."
"The driver seat airbags protected her during the roll including one underneath the steering wheel for her legs which I didn't even know was there," the redditor noted. "As you can see from the photos the cabin was completely intact. The windshield and glass roof obviously shattered but they did not intrude into the cabin at all."
What was most impressive to the Reddit user's wife was that the car rolled over in the first place.
"If a Model X can hardly roll how could a Model 3?," the user wrote. "I think the median must have popped it up on it's [sic] side slightly instigating the roll."
However, once the Reddit user saw just how bad the damage was to the car, they were shocked and grateful.
"When I finally visited the car later in the day I gasp when I saw the damage to the outside," the poster said. "It hit me just how violent the accident was. After peeling back the airbags it was a sense of relief knowing that although my wife was getting thrown around quite a bit she was in about the safest place she could be in that situation."
Tesla has consistently touted the safety ratings of all of its vehicles, but the Model 3 had some of the most promising safety ratings. Tesla also frequently posted video of the unit's safety performance. Despite all the manufacturing and "production hell" the Model 3 went through, this particular couple is grateful for the high-quality performance of their Model 3 unit.