Tesla Model S Safety Ratings Top the Charts
The Tesla Model S has achieved the rare distinction of becoming the only U.S. made car ever to score a perfect 5-Star safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) in every category it was tested. The all-electric car, manufactured by California-based Tesla Motors, snagged a perfect score in front and side impact testing, as well as in rollover and pole penetration tests.
In fact, the car proved to be so resilient during the safety testing process that it actually ended up damaging some of the equipment that was used in the tests, according to Tesla. Impressively, Tesla Model S safety scores
were not just the highest in the sedan category to which it belongs, but also among SUVs and minivans. The safety sores achieved by the car were so high that Tesla claimed they actually equated to a 5.4-Star rating from the NHSA. It was a claim that was promptly rebutted by the NHSA, which insisted that the maximum score it ever awards to any vehicle is 5-Stars.
Larger Crumple Zone
One potential reason why the car scored so well in the safety tests may have to do with its engine block. As an all-electric vehicle, the Tesla’s engine is significantly smaller than a conventional combustion engine. Its engine block is barely a foot in diameter and occupies a space close to the vehicle’s rear axle. The space under the hood where a gasoline engine is typically mounted is used as a second trunk on the Tesla. As a result, the front of the car provides a significantly larger crumple zone, and is able to absorb a high-speed impact much better than a regular car.
Side Impact Tests
The car fared well in side impact testing because of the manner in which the side rail of the car is designed to absorb impact energy, according to Tesla. During side pole tests, the Model S managed to retain about 64 percent of driver residual space, compared to just 7.8 percent of residual space for the Volvo, the only other car to score a perfect 5 in all categories. Basically, the greater the residual space that a driver has in a collision, the lesser the chance of serious or fatal injuries.
Integrated Safety Features
The car’s incredibly tough roof also contributed to the excellent Tesla Model S crash rating in the NHSA tests. During the safety tests, the Tesla’s roof was able to withstand the weight of four Model S cars being placed on top of the roof. The roof was able to bear so much weight before caving in that it actually broke the NHSA machine that was used for the test, according to the elated carmaker. Integrated Tesla car safety features, such as the double bumper on cars with a third-row sear, also contributed heavily to the high scores in the safety tests.
The outstanding Tesla Model S safety rating awarded by the NHSA has focused fresh attention on the issue of car safety. Over the past several decades, American and overseas carmakers have made huge strides in improving automobile safety. Even so, few have gone so far as Tesla appears to have done with the Model S. The performance could go a long way in boosting Tesla’s sales in the emerging market for electric vehicles in the United States, according to industry analysts. These cars are also very likely to maintain high resale values
in the used market as well.