Tesla Model S earns US highway safety agency\'s highest score ever

Gets 5.4 stars, exceeding usual 5-star cap
Aug 21, 2013


The United States\' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the Tesla Model S a safety rating that exceeds the usual five-star total, not only for its overall performance but for every subcategory \"without exception.\" The agency added that although it doesn\'t publish a star rating above 5, safety levels that exceed 5 stars in the overall vehicle safety score are provided to manufacturers, which, in the case of the Model S, was a \"new combined record of 5.4 stars.\"

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The NHTSA added that--of all the vehicles it has tested, including every major make and model approved for sale in the US--the Model S set a new record \"for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants.\" And while the Model S is a sedan, it also exceeded the safety score of all SUVs and minivans, taking into account the probability of injury from front, side, rear and rollover accidents.

When it comes to the front crash test, the Model S\'s advantage is that it doesn\'t have a large engine block, \"creating a much longer crumple zone to absorb a high-speed impact.\" For the side pole intrusion test, the Model S was the only car in the \"good\" category among the other top 1% of vehicles tested, thanks to the multiple deep aluminum extrusions in the side rail of the car that absorb the impact energy and transfer load to the rest of the vehicle.

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Given the optional third-row children\'s seat of the Model S, the rear crash test was important for the car to pass--which it did--due to the factory-installed double bumper that comes as standard if the third-row seat is ordered. According to Tesla, the third row is \"the safest location in the car for frontal or side injuries.\"

The Model S also aced the rollover test. During testing at an independent facility, the Model S reportedly refused to turn over via normal methods. Apparently, with the car\'s battery pack being mounted below the floorpan, this gives the Model S a very low center of gravity, \"which simultaneously ensures exceptional handling and safety.\"

What\'s really worth noting is that, during the validation of the Model S\'s roof crush protection at an independent commercial facility, the testing machine apparently failed at just above 4 g\'s. So while the exact figure is uncertain, 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.\" Credit supposedly goes to a center B-pillar reinforcement \"attached via aerospace grade bolts.\"

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As for the Model S\'s lithium-ion battery, it did not catch fire \"at any time before, during or after the NHTSA testing.\"

So, it seems Meralco chairman Manny V. Pangilinan has the safest car in the Philippines.

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