You can almost be certain that if a Tesla crashes and/or catches fire, it will be in the news. This has been the case for years, and crashes and fires involving other electric cars have also become big news. However, when a Polestar 2 EV recently crashed into a residential home, a media outlet called it a Tesla, and larger media outlets aggregated the incorrect content.
Perhaps Tesla is sort of like Kleenex or Q-Tips at this point, which could be a good or bad thing. Many people tend to call all tissues "Kleenex" and all swabs "Q-Tips." Of course, people don't call all EVs a Tesla, but Tesla is likely the first name to come to mind when referring to electric cars. It's probably also the first to come to mind for many people when discussing electric car fires and crashes since they're in the media often.
With all of that said, it's very important for media organizations to make sure they do their homework before posting stories that may negatively impact a company, especially if they're completely false, and the image in the story proves it upfront.
A recent story has been circulating showing a white Polestar 2 electric car crashed into a residential garage. Initially, the headline attached to the story read, "Tesla Crashes Into Garage In Lake Forest Thursday." Later, the first word in the title was changed to "Car," but it was too late.
The story was all over social media, and media organizations, such as MSN, that share such stories, had already put it out there with the wrong headline, and it's still online. Moreover, even the original source has left its false tweets up instead of deleting them.
Below are the images related to the story, as well as an image of the original story with the wrong headline.
As far as we can tell, Lake Forest Patch hasn't yet put out a tweet with the new headline, or one explaining the issue. However, if you click on the story above, you'll see the new headline when the story opens.
The Orange County Fire Authority (first tweet above), which appears to be the original source of the news, didn't call the car a Tesla. It also didn't call it a Polestar 2. In many cases, reports don't actually name the car itself by make and model, though it's common to see the name if it's a Tesla.
The Lake Forest Patch took the news from the fire department and wrote their own story and headline. After realizing the mistake, the Patch not only change a word in the title, but also swapped "Tesla" for "Polestar" in the first sentence and added the following editor's note.
"*Editor’s note: the original version of this article mistakenly identified the car involved in the crash as a Tesla. The car photographed above is not a Tesla."
A fresh tweet with the same information would have also been helpful. Hopefully, the Patch has reached out to MSN to get the false content removed or updated. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the incident.