Much has been made about Tesla Motor’s Model S sedan. How the all-electric ride will rivet your attention from the start.
But CEO Elon Musk has been focused on safety as much as style.
On Monday, Tesla proudly announced that the Model S achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested, earning a 5-star safety rating overall and in every subcategory from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Not only that: during validation of Model S roof crush protection, the testing machine failed.
“Of note, during validation of Model S roof crush protection at an independent commercial facility, the testing machine failed at just above 4 g’s,” wrote Tesla in the press release. “While the exact number is uncertain due to Model S breaking the testing machine, what this means is that at least four additional fully loaded Model S vehicles could be placed on top of an owner’s car without the roof caving in. This is achieved primarily through a center (B) pillar reinforcement attached via aerospace grade bolts.”
The NHTSA rating is a huge honor for a company that prides itself on the fact that, to date, is unaware of any Model S or Roadster occupant fatalities.
“Of all vehicles tested, including every major make and model approved for sale in the United States, the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants,” said Tesla. “While the Model S is a sedan, it also exceeded the safety score of all SUVs and minivans. This score takes into account the probability of injury from front, side, rear and rollover accidents.”
The Model S was also substantially better in rollover tests. Tesla says the “Model S refused to turn over via the normal methods and special means were needed to induce the car to roll. The reason for such a good outcome is that the battery pack is mounted below the floor pan, providing a very low center of gravity, which simultaneously ensures exceptional handling and safety.”
Tesla’s Model S sedan