Now it can add another accomplishment to its already outstanding resume, that of being the safest car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Model S not only achieved an overall five-star safety rating, but also top marks in every subcategory test, for an overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) of 5.4 stars.
That is very impressive, particularly for a company that sold its first production car less than a decade ago.
According to Tesla, the electric Model S has the advantage of not having a gasoline engine block up front, which allows for longer crumple zones. More impressively, the Model S also scored top marks for its optional third-row seating. These backward-facing seats received the “Good” rating from NHTSA for its front, rear and side impact tests.
During the roof crush test, the Model S reportedly broke the testing machine after registering a score of more than 4 g. Tesla credits the Model S’ strong B-pillar reinforcement for this impressive result.
Getting one to roll over also proved challenging. During testing, the Model S wouldn’t turn over as per normal method. Thanks to the car's floor-mounted battery packs, which gives it a very low centre of gravity, rolling the Model S proved tricky and special means were needed to induce the car to roll.
Just to rub it in to its competitors, Tesla also mentioned that the Model S’ lithium-ion battery pack did not catch fire at any time before, during or after the NHTSA testing.