Making the news recently was owner and CEO of Tesla and we thought this story was so awesome that we had to share it with you.
Over in Germany they have a thing called the Autobahn, it’s a little like our interstate but there are no speed restrictions. Sounds cool right? It is, most of the time. Germany have an incredible record for safety and spend a lot of time improving the roads and also enforcing strict guidelines on tyre safety and car maintenance. It makes sense, this country is responsible for a lot of the safety tech that sits in your vehicle at home. They love driving, adore engineering and respect safety.
This month a 41 year old named Manfred Kick, was driving his Tesla Model S along the Autobahn just outside of Munich when he noticed a VW Passat acting strangely. He followed for a while then realised there was something going wrong and pulled his vehicle alongside the car. This is when he realised there really was an issue. The driver was slumped over the steering wheel. It has since been discovered he had suffered a stroke.
Not knowing what was going on, brave Manfred decided he had to do something, so he pulled in front of the Passat and then used his car to slowly bring the vehicle to a stand still. The result? Over $10,000 of damage to the Tesla!
This guy is a hero! Not only did he ignore any issue to his safety and health (We’re thinking whiplash injury claims here) he also didn’t even flinch at the thought of his own car repair bill. Imagine how bad it could have been if he had just driven past and not checked to see what was going on? Not only could the driver have been killed, but a lot of other road users too.
We aren’t the only ones who think he is a hero. On hearing of Manfred’s incredible act, Elon Musk took straight to Twitter to announce that Tesla would be repairing the $74,686 Model S for free and that they would expedite the process to boot.
Tesla entered the media spotlight back in 2013 when the Model S was born. They were then catapulted into the spotlight as one of the few independent automakers who are successful in the electric car market. In the US established automakers such as Ford and Chevrolet were rolling models out to the electric car market and were taken by surprise by the acclaim this unknown manufacturer was gaining.
The Model S is a completely awesome luxury sedan with sleek lines and effortless styling, with a price tag of $69,000 you may think that an unknown brand might struggle a little. However the Model S received incredible ratings in the trade and mainstream press. Receiving 5 stars from Car & Driver, the trade press gave the model laurels. Scoring 99 out of 100 through consumer reports, this model was named as ‘the best car ever tested’
It’s crazy to think we are talking about an electric car! The reviews read like a Mercedes AMG or a Ford Mustang and that this tiny company had beat techno savvy brands like Toyota to the post.
Sales in the US were rocketing with Q1 2015 units reaching 10,030 and Tesla are now one of the first names we associate with the electric car industry. With Elon Musk’s company being worth over ten billion dollars. Not bad for a company founded in 2003 by two Silicon Valley engineers, the unknown duo of Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, who had wanted to prove that electric cars could be cooler, and better, than gasoline-powered cars.
I guess with that in mind, Tesla can probably afford to foot the bill, but the point of the story is that they didn’t have too. No one would have blamed them for not even noticing the news line on this, it was out of country and without fatality. Both drivers would have had insurance. However Elon, like us, realised the completely selfless act of Manfred Kick and felt compelled to do something to say thank you to this everyday hero
Whilst we don’t recommend everyone throwing themselves in the line of danger, it is important to keep an eye on other drivers and be aware. How often have you driven past someone, rolling your eyes, because you thought they were drunk or just driving badly? Have you ever taken the time to look and see that everything is ok in the other vehicle. Whilst many of us wouldn’t know how to bring another car to a halt, safely and without putting others at a greater risk. We could take the time to sit behind it with our hazards on and call the police, helping to protect other road users.
This story is awesome but it should also be seen as a reason to get on top of your car safety. Whilst the driver of the Passat was suffering from a medical condition, there are plenty of other reasons that could cause this kind of incident. Take plenty of rests on long journeys, if you are tired then pull over and get some sleep. Check your car for any issues and pay particular attention to your tires and brakes.
Tire safety is grossly overlooked in the US and in the UK with consumers not understanding the simple fact that those 4 small pieces of rubber are all that keeps you in contact with the road. Keep them pumped up and checked for any misshaping and if you notice any issues, get them changed straight away.
This story could have turned from awesome to tragedy in just a few minutes. Had it not been for the incredible dedication of one man to help preserve human life.
So, Manfred Kick, we want to give you a huge pat on the back. Not just for your bravery and completely selfless act, but also for your daily contribution towards saving our environment and looking pretty damn cool as you do it.
Someone get that man a beer on us, whilst his car is off the road!