Watch A Rogue Truck Tire Blast A Kia Soul 15 Feet Into The Air On The Freeway

Crash / 25 Comments

Who is to blame here?

A Tesla driver filmed an insane series of events that resulted in a Kia Soul nearly being sent to the moon. The video of the accident is embedded below, and before you watch it, know that everyone walked away without serious injury.

The incident was filmed by Anoop Khatra and involved three vehicles; a pickup truck that arguably should not have been on the road, the previously mentioned Soul, and a Tesla that was also nearly involved.

In a nutshell, an old Chevy Silverado lost its front left wheel, sending it straight into the front of the Soul. The tire went underneath the Soul and launched it 15 feet into the air. It comes down, lands solidly on its roof, does a half-roll, and ends on its wheels.

@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter
@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter
@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter
@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter

The Tesla's advanced driver assistance does a grand job of avoiding the vengeful tire, which returns and bashes the rear of the Kia Soul one last time before coming to a rest.

Naturally, this sparked a debate online about whether the Tesla would have launched in the same way, given its weight, which is entirely beside the point. Debating about what could have happened to a Tesla in a similar situation detracts from the real problem: the truck's wheels. We don't know the facts, so the owner might have installed a heavy-duty axle giving the truck a wider stance, but due to the nature of the accident, we're guessing spacers are involved.

Spacers create a greater offset between the wheel and the hub, which can be beneficial. To some, the offset looks good, it gives the off-roader a wider track and allows the owners to install a set of wheels and aftermarket tires that would not have fit underneath the standard wheel arch.

@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter

On the downside, it interferes with the vehicle's standard geometry, though this is easy enough to get around when the installer knows what they're doing. There are thousands of trucks that run an outlandish offset, and they can be spotted at SEMA every year.

But spacers tend to put more stress on several OEM components that were never designed to operate within the new parameters an owner sets by bolting a set of spacers to the hub. These hubs, bearings, and axles wear down at an accelerated rate, which is also easily avoidable. The wheels simply need to be inspected more often for signs of wear and tear.

If we had to guess, the wear and tear, in this case, resulted in the wheel dislodging itself at the worst possible time - driving down the freeway.

@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter

The laws on fenders vary by state, but the general rule is that a wheel must be covered by a fender. There are some exemptions, but these include older cars, street rods, and kit cars. Would a fender have changed the outcome of the accident? It's an interesting conversation starter. Since we can only draw assumptions from the video, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Khatra used the opportunity to praise the unknown Tesla's ability to avoid the accident, but the real hero is the Soul. To go through that while retaining the structural integrity of the passenger compartment is the biggest takeaway from the entire video. If you're looking for a small, safe, and comfortable crossover on a budget, this is it.

The Soul in question is no longer in production, but it received a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and a five-star rating from the NHTSA. The current model comes with the same ratings, once again proving that these safety ratings are worth something.

@Anoop_Khatra/Twitter

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