Tesla Motors celebrates its 5-star safety rating, and the Model S broke the roof crush testing machine

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




Share this Post