Tesla Model S breaks crash test record and the test machine

Tesla comes out of a week of bad fire rumours, with a record breaking performance in the NHTSA crash test.

By: | Updated: May 26, 2017 11:11 AM

It’s out then. The Tesla Model S is the safest car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), scoring five out of a possible five stars in the test. We’ll over look the hyperbolism courtesy Tesla’s PR who went about tooting their horn about how they got 5.4 stars. Which sent the NHTSA scurrying to reform their scoring methods. Releasing a PDF where they’ve repeatedly mentioned that the maximum rating possible is five stars.

Honestly, who could blame Tesla ? Having done as well as they have, They deserve it. Especially after reports --allegedly false-- about Tesla’s catching fire left right and centre in New York. But we think the issue of vehicle safety is to critical to be subject to over-tooting so we’ll call it five stars. Don’t worry Tesla, you still did really well. And we’re glad you didn’t cut any corners. The Tesla Model S aced the frontal collision test, courtesy the missing gas plugger in the hood allowing for a massive crumple zone to disperse those pesky negative g’s from entering the cabin. Then it went on to crush all previous records in the side collision as well as the pole intrusion test.

Even the rear crash -- which is particularly important for rear facing child jump seats -- failed to catch the Model S off guard. The rear strength comes from what tesla call a double bumper to absorb the additional impact.
Then of course, there’s the roof crush -- that Tesla won’t stop talking about -- where the Model S broke the testing equipment after it exceeded 4gs of gravitational force. Before, you discount them, that’s the equivalent force of four sedans being piled onto the roof of the Tesla.

So how did it do it ?
First, the Tesla is built on a supremely rigid frame, which has tremendous force absorption abilities. That aside, the low placed batteries don’t only bring the centre of gravity down they also allow the Tesla plenty of sacrificial space to disperse the direction of the force.

And finally, for the eagle-eyed Tesla fan-boy; the Lithium-ion batteries did not leak or catch fire during any of the tests.