Lapo Elkann, one of the heirs of Italy's Agnelli family which founded auto giant Fiat, said Friday he was recovering in Switzerland following a serious car accident in Jerusalem.

The 42-year-old grandson of legendary former Fiat boss and jet setter Gianni Agnelli told Corriere della Sera newspaper that the crash occurred about 10 days ago when he was returning from the Western Wall.

He suffered multiple fractures and pulmonary lesions and underwent several operations.

Elkann said he could not remember how the crash happened as he lost consciousness but only that he was behind the wheel.

"I thank God for returning me to life," Elkann, who played a pivotal role in relaunching Fiat's iconic 500 model, told the newspaper.

"I pray for all those youths who I saw dying in Israel at my side in the emergency section, for friends who were close to me and for my family."

Elkann said he doesn't remember how the accident happened
Elkann said he doesn't remember how the accident happened AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE

Elkann said that after the accident, he was determined to involve himself further in an association he created for victims of sexual abuse.

A few weeks ago he had revealed that he had been subjected to sexual abuse as a child.

Elkann has also started tweeting from his hospital bed, congratulating elder brother John for sealing a tie-up between US-Italian giant Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and France's PSA group to create the world's fourth largest automobile manufacturer.

"Dear Brother I have and will always Believe in U. I am Very Very PROUD of U. Great Team Job: #FCAPSA," he said, calling his brother John and PSA chief Carlos Tavares "Batman and Robin."

"Batman & Robin = Elkann & Tavares. Bravo to BOTH. And I wish u to both to be always like Batman & Robin with to each other for #FCA & #PSA Forza #BatmanRobin," he said.