Tesla Model S named the safest car ever tested by NHTSA

The Tesla Model S has wowed both the critics and the consumers since its launch just last year. Not only has it won many awards by various publications, but has also sold in impressive numbers.

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Published on 2013/08/26

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.

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