In terms of U.S. automobile safety testing, the Tesla Model S has just set a new record.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just awarded Tesla’s full-sized luxury sedan a 5-star safety rating – both overall and across the board, in every single category tested. The car also received a 5.4 star Vehicle Safety Score, the highest ever given by the agency.
Around 1% of cars tested by the NHTSA ever receive 5-star ratings across the board.
You have to know that Tesla just loves this little tidbit. Apparently, the Model S broke the test rig:
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. 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.
Oh, and they ain’t no cheaters either:
“The above results do not tell the full story. It is possible to game the regulatory testing score to some degree by strengthening a car at the exact locations used by the regulatory testing machines. After verifying through internal testing that the Model S would achieve a NHTSA 5-star rating, Tesla then analyzed the Model S to determine the weakest points in the car and retested at those locations until the car achieved 5 stars no matter how the test equipment was configured.”
Model S achieves best safety rating of any car ever tested by US govt http://t.co/W1rZ5ceEVX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 20, 2013
Back in June, Tesla issued its first-ever recall on the Model S, citing a weakened mounting bracket that affected around 1,300 cars. Elon Musk assured customers that there had been no adverse incident yet, and Tesla received praise for getting out in front of the issue and tackling even the tiniest of defects.