Jeffrey Katzenberg owes Elon Musk big time — or at least, that’s what he thinks.
The DreamWorks Animation CEO shattered his arm and wrist Oct. 19 when he was involved in a car collision in Beverly Hills, California. Katzenberg, who reportedly drives a Tesla Model S, is now recovering from surgery after a brief stay at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He says the accident could have had much more serious consequences, were it not for the electric car he was driving at the time.
“Thank you, Elon Musk — you saved my life,” Katzenberg told The Hollywood Reporter, expressing his gratitude to the Tesla Motors CEO. He also offered a few more details about the crash, noting that the vehicle was destroyed in the accident.
Katzenberg’s words didn’t go unnoticed. Late on Monday, Musk took to Twitter to chime in:
“Safety is a top priority at Tesla, our cars are the safest on the road,” a Tesla spokesperson told The Huffington Post. “The active safety systems in Model S help avoid accidents and its electric architecture protects occupants when accidents do happen.”
The company has been focusing on making safety a priority in its fleet of electric vehicles. Tesla’s safety standards were called into question after two of its Model S sedans caught fire in 2013. The two incidents — one in Seattle, Washington, and the other in Smyrna, Tennessee — made national headlines, leading to a highly publicized federal investigation.
In a Medium post in 2014, Elon Musk addressed the controversy, noting that no “serious, permanent injuries of any kind” had ever occurred in a Tesla. He also introduced new changes to the car’s titanium shielding, which would reduce the risk of car fires and “give Model S owners complete peace of mind.”
After these changes, the Model S achieved a 5-star safety rating from both the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European New Car Assessment Programme, setting a new record for the lowest likelihood of passenger injury.
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