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NHTSA crash tests videos

I'm not sure if these have already been posted somewhere on the site, but I came across some of the NHTSA crash testing videos on the Model S. It looks like the rating will be released soon( or already has been released). The Youtube video says that is 5 star crash tested. Seeing those Model S's get hit over and over again was a little painful to see, but also very reassuring.

NHTSA Side Pole Impact

NHTSA Side Impact

NHTSA Frontal Impact

"was a little painful to see"
More than a little painful, IMO. But sure looks like my girl can take it and happy about that!

Interesting video, but I don't think any safety conclusions can be drawn yet. The sensor data from the test dummies will need to analyzed to see just how hard a real person would have been whacked.


I know that Elon has made this a key criteria, but always good to see in formal results.

Here is the NHTSA website should take you right to the Tesla Model S page. Looks like they are still updating the detailed page.

Combine this with today's earnings and the future is looking even brighter for TSLA.

Great find! Thanks for posting. Hopefully the official ratings will follow soon.

DonS, the description says:

Published on Aug 7, 2013

Earned ***** Overall. (NHTSA Five Star Car)

Most of the staff looked pretty good to me. But did I see the back seat come apart with the frontal test?? Look at the back seat view from the frontal impact I seeing right or what??

Maybe Tesla timed their their Q2 reporting to come out with the crush test result........I think the crash test was just released today but it's curious why there was not any mention of it in the media........

Re: back seat - I think that's what prompted the recall. The welds on one batch were compromised, which TM fixed under the recall. The first car NHTSA got was from that three week build period, and I think TM supplied a corrected replacement for further testing. I think you are seeing the pre-fix rear seat in some of those videos.

Overall, I'm totally stoked at how well the car performed. That side pole impact on the sled is unbelievable. Horrifically violent impact right next to your body, and yet the occupants were fully protected by the safety cocoon. Boron steel B pillar. Door guard beams and welded door structure, and side curtain plus pelvis air bags.

Nothing on the road can touch this car for safety.

It's reason enough to buy this car over the usual suspects on this point alone.

My wife is safe now :)

sayidredi - great post. Thanks! This is gonna be a good day for the stock when the official results are released.

@Mark K.....hope they post the video after the fix too. It seems to me it's taken care of because the government's safety site gives Tesla overall 5 star rating including for frontal impact test, which I believe the only car currently with 5-star rating.

Notice the emergency flashers come on right after impact. I wonder if this is a Tesla-only feature, or if this is a general safety feature that other cars have, too.

having been in a pretty awful 911 accident the safety lights came on in that as well - I think it's pretty common these days.

guess rear crash test is not standard deal.

Thanks for posting. I did not have time to listen in to Q2 today and was wondering if it would come up.

I don't think this testing prompted the recall at all. It has been said that the welding insufficiency was caught on the line. This just looks like the rear seat bottom coming loose with the impact. They are really quite easy to remove in most cars. Just grab the back and yank up. They are usually just held on with a few plastic clips.


Quite impressive videos, the airbags for both front and rear side impacts look great.
The only driver injury could be from the flying center rear-mirror. ;)

Pole impact looked really good. I wonder if the strong battery casing on the floor was a reason the car resisted the pole so well?

Are the results on that page complete now? I see 5 stars for everything. Are there more results to come?

I looked through the full list of sedans (current models), and it appears that the Model S is currently the safest among all sedans (likely other car categories as well, but I didn't check). Even among the few other vehicles that had five-star ratings for every test AND every passenger position (I think there was a 2014 Cadillac, Camaro, and Volvo), the Model S still had the lowest percentage chance of rollover, so I will count that as a differentiating factor.

@cybrown: yes, it appears that everything is there now.

Where are the videos for rear crash tests with kids in the rumble seats? I would love to get one but I'm afraid the kids will get crushed in a rear end crash.

Slightly off subject, I wonder how the pano roof holds up in these types of crashes?

@jeffrese: I'm not aware of the NHTSA ever doing any rear crash testing nor any third-row testing on any vehicle (including SUVs/minivans that have forward-facing third-row seats), so unfortunately, I don't think you will be getting any test results of that nature. I agree that, given the third-row seats in the Model S are rear-facing, a rear crash test would be a good thing to perform.

What about the head on crash test that is modified to be off center. That is one of the hardest tests to pass. I had assumed they will run that test? The MS should stand out in that test. I'm thinking testing isn't complete yet.

I'm waiting for someone in the media to state the obvious, "This is the safest sedan ever made!"...

@Kimscar-NHTSA does not do the front offset crash test. That is performed by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). I too wonder if they've purchased a Model S to do this crash test. Right now Tesla is not on their dropdown on cars tested.

@jeffrese At Teslive, Elon said (if I recall correctly) that safety was a top priority for Model S. The rear of the Model S, where the rear-facing seats are, is actually the safest part of the car. It'd be good to see some testing data proving this, I agree.

@sayidreddy & @jed-99aggie

Thanks so much for the links!

Thanks for posting. Just went on a 2500 mile trip around the midwest. I went from Atlanta to Chicago, Chicago to Detroit, then Detroit back to Atlanta.

I grew up in my father's body shop in Detroit. This is the best car I've ever driven in every situation.

I'm glad to see that it is also the safest.

BTW: I let my 90 year old father drive my MS. He was thrilled. He said all cars have to go this way.

It's up on the NFTAS site now. Check it out here:

@hillcountryfun - I agree with you. Why hasn't anyone written an article with the headline "Tesla is the safest car ever tested"? Or why no press release from Tesla? CNN money did a brief video that's up but I'm looking for headline news.

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