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Wanted: Picture of the testing machine that the model S broke

Anyone know of such a picture?

None of those pictures are the machine that "broke."

It was at an independent lab not at the NHTSA.

If there are pictures no one has shared them.


that picture of the model S upside down IS the lab. It is a portable crusher.

My guess is that the NHTSA farms out crushing. This is not something you just keep lying around.

See how the upside down car was the front impact car?

They used the same car for two tests.

Yes I see that, but as cloroxbb states, that's not a picture of the machine that broke.

This video explains how the test is done:

As you can see demonstrated in the video by a VW Tiguan, it is not too far fetched to come out nearly unscathed at 4 times vehicle weight.

The legend of the machine breaking might have been a happy coincidence.

According to the caption under image 12: "The Model S was tested at just over 4 g of force on the roof ... before the testing rig failed (Photo: NHTSA) "

I think the new, upgraded standard is 3 g.

nnt's back!

Yes, we know they overhyped the crash test scores a bit. This has been discussed add naseum in other threads. If you don't have a comment pertaining to this thread bugger off.

Thanks Brian H. but it still doesn't show a broken machine though does it? ;-)

They don't lie, they exaggerate and embellish. Big difference. Look it up.

Companies do it all the time to sell their goods. I'm not happy that Tesla has resorted to it but this minor transgression doesn't sour my opinion of the product or the company.

The machine shown is the machine that could not correctly measure the crush force of a Tesla and "failed". So, yes, it does shown the "broken" machine as it could not complete the test.

No car is perfect nnt. Not a single one. Although Consumer Reports disagrees. ;-)

It is VERY good though.

@L8MDL - That might be true and that is what the OP was asking for but I read into it that he was looking for a picture of a broken machine and that picture doesn't show a broken machine. ;-)

From Wired: "Most cars get five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s frontal crash protection test and four stars for side impact protection. But the Model S aced them all: front, side, pole, and rollover. And Tesla adds in its announcement that during a previous roof crush test used during validation, the machine failed while applying more than 4 G’s of pressure — the same as stacking four of the electric sedans on top of the car without the roof breaking."

Key words - "the machine failed" -- the photo shows the car in the machine. No broken parts, just the inability to measure crush force beyond 4 G's. He didn't ask for a photo of the crushed car, which would be cool to see...

I am wrong about the tests. The roof impact test is done from the side, not the older "drop" test that I was thinking. So I can't tell what the photo of the upside down Tesla is showing unless they did do a "drop" test. Apologies for any confusion. Here are the current tests:

And you just quoted the gist of my argument. "Tesla adds in it's announcement that during a previous roof crush test used during validation, the machine failed..."

The picture you've linked is from the NHTSA test, NOT the previous validation test. Different test and different machine.

Correct. The photo is the rotisserie set-up that NHTSA uses. Lots of
test videos at

I posted a link to a video of the roof crush test, 6th post in this thread.

The "machine broke" story could just mean that it was outside the calibrated range of the machine. Mechanically, it looks like that machine would win every time.

Maybe a motor applying downforce blew. What were you expecting to see, a cracked or bent I-beam?

A Hollywood style explosion would have been nice. What is the world coming to when a Hollywood style explosion is too much to ask for?

More seriously, the machine could have blown a gasket which could be a trivial repair and moreover could be a relatively common occurrence. If this happened only after the required g threshold was achieved there would be no reason to repeat the test because the necessary measurement would already have been made. The rest would be spin.

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