Pano roof: are they as safe as body roof in accidents?

Pano roof: are they as safe as body roof in accidents?

Hi everyone.

Sorry if this topic was already discussed, but couldn't find it.

I'm debating whether to get the pano roof or not. Is it as safe and strong as body roof in an accident? how about in a roll over accidents? I understand that they use safety glass and institute of highway says pano roofs are generally as safe as body roof in an accident except in a roll over accident.

I ask because I have a 2 year old and she'll be riding in the back. just wanted to get all your opinions.

thanks in advance,


Volker.Berlin | 10 december 2012

There is something about safety in the second part of this video:

"Beta Reveal: Intro & Safety (Pt. 1)"

For completeness, here are the other two parts:

"Beta Reveal: Performance (Pt. 2)"

"Beta Reveal: Interior & Touchscreen (Pt. 3)"

olanmills | 10 december 2012

If it's safety glass, then I'm assuming at least that it will shatter into unsharp pieces if it breaks. So it's not going to cut you up.

However, if you're talking about objects that can break through the roof and fly inside, I don't know what's better. Obviously, if you have the roof open then you won't have any protection whatsoever.

A bird has not been able to poop into my car via the sunroof so far, though I am a little worried about presenting a bigger target now. *fingers crossed*

Brian H | 10 december 2012

They just lack practice. Give them time!

petero | 10 december 2012

My guess is... with so much weight, so low, the "S" will be a difficult car to roll. I think your safe getting the pano. After all, the solid roof is a thin sheet of aluminum, the pano has a lot of bracing.

Brian H | 10 december 2012

The roll bar in the middle is still there, and more than strong enough. That doesn't stop objects from getting through, but it prevents the pancake effect.

jchangyy | 10 december 2012

thanks for all the info here.

Not sure what's better. things getting through or pancake effect with a 2 year old in the back.

I don't like either....

will keep thinking while I'm waiting.

dborn | 10 december 2012

Most countries will have "design rules" which specify many things, not least of which would be the strength of the passenger cell of the vehicle. I am sure this would be the case in the USA as well as here in Australia. I am quite certain the roof structure with or without the glass will be strong enough, and that the glass will be to correct specs! Elon has what- 5 kids? The third row seating was designed with his kids in mind, and I would think that the roof would be too.

Volker.Berlin | 11 december 2012

Regarding pancake effect: I'm not entirely sure on the exact numbers, but Tesla's own crash tests yielded something like "the roof supports nine times the car's weight, while DOT requirements is just five times". If someone else remembers this quote, please post the link! I was hoping that it is in the videos I linked above, but I did not have time to sit through them again.

My impression was that this test result applies regardless of which roof you choose. Send you inquiry to Tesla for clarification and share the reply here!

Brian H | 11 december 2012

I heard the S broke the crush-testing machine.

Ohms.Law | 11 december 2012

Brian H: agreed. I remember reading the same.

Timo | 11 december 2012

Glass does tend to break instead of bend, but is also actually very strong against penetration if it is thick enough with lamination. "things getting thru" might be pretty same with both, normal roof and panoramic. Or not. Would need to see how exactly it breaks at it's breaking point.

archibaldcrane | 11 december 2012

Between the wheelbase, the low CoG, and the weight, I think this would be one of the most difficult cars to roll over currently in production.

I wouldn't give the 'safety' issue of the pano roof a second thought.

Brian H | 11 december 2012

archibaldcrane | December 11, 2012
Between the wheelbase, the low CoG, and the weight, I think this would be one of the most difficult cars to roll over currently in production.

Yes, something like the opposite of the tippy high CoG SUVs that made news. The X ahould be very safe for the same reason, though taller than the S.