Here’s a bragging right Tesla can proudly wield for a while to come. Their Model S saloon was tested by America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and achieved five stars not just overall, but in every subcategory overall.
Technically, according to the NHTSA, the Tesla S doesn’t have a mere five-star rating – but a rating of 5.4 stars. It also exceeded the safety score of all SUVs and minivans and was deemed as a car that has the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants.
Its advantage is that it doesn’t have a large engine block upfront – being an electric car. So there’s a much longer crumple zone to absorb a high speed impact. The longer the crumple zone, the more time there is to slow down occupants from loads that could cause injuries.
For the side pole intrusion test, the Model S earned a “good” rating, putting it among the other top one percent of vehicles tested. The rollover test must have been particularly interesting, because the Model S refused to turn over via the normal methods employed by the NHTSA. They said they had to use “special means” to induce a roll.
And for the roof crush test, the Tesla S proved so strong, that it broke the testing machine. According to Tesla’s marketing suits, you could place at least four fully-loaded Model S vehicles atop one car without the roof caving in. This is thanks to a reinforced B-pillar attached with aerospace grade bolts.
It’s also worth mentioning that despite the high impact testing, none of the electric vehicles burst into flames.