The IIHS has just announced that the Tesla model S has failed to achieve their top safety rating in preliminary crash testing.
Unfortunately for Tesla, the safety belt that is currently in the model S that is set to go into production next year didn’t prevent the crash test dummy’s head from going through the airbag and impacting the steering wheel in the small overlap front crash test.
In addition to that, the P100D which is currently the longest ranged EV in the world didn’t quite hold up as well as its lighter sister model in rollover testing. Apparently that heavy battery makes the body less safe in the event of a rollover.
The P100D still earned a rollover rating of “acceptable” but Tesla said that changes will be made to the production models, and new S series models will be submitted to be destroyed for safety’s sake.
Tesla has every reason to want to maintain their safety standards, and in while these tests fell just a little bit short of perfect, Tesla still has time to make some small changes that can improve their ratings before the new S models hit the road.
When the S model was introduced in 2013 it earned the highest ratings in the history of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was awarded a 5-star safety rating. This five star rating was earned both overall and in every subcategory, so we know that Tesla has the ability to get their new model up to par before release.
Approximately one percent of all cars tested by the federal government achieve 5 stars, and for such a new manufacturer to have the ability to open so strongly says a lot about Tesla as a company.
Because the model S doesn’t have a large gasoline engine block in the front of the car, it has a huge a safety advantage over a regular car. This extra space creates a much longer crumple zone that will more effectively absorb a high speed impact.
Given all of the advantages that Tesla has built into their design, they should have no problem achieving perfection in the next round.