Safety concerns for Model S competitors

Safety concerns for Model S competitors

It's about frontal and oblique crash where only a fraction of the front is hit

If I remember correctly, Model S is reinforced with high strength steel and partial hits from both front and back were tested by Tesla (not to mention their pole intrusion testing that goes well beyond the standard tests). If the competition does business as usual and it takes 2-3 years for their models to be up to par (or at least close to) Model S in this regard, I think we have a real winner here.

Brian H | September 5, 2012

Yes, I think that accounts for much of the S' extra weight. Fortunately, it also has the power to toss it around!

Nicu.Mihalache | September 9, 2012

More food for thought

“In a recent poll by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, 65% cited safety as their most important buying consideration.”

“It will take several years for the industry to resolve this new dissonance in the safety discussion.”

“Car makers won’t have much time to respond. By 2014, the Institute could withhold its “Top Safety Pick” designation for any car that flunks the small-overlap test, Lund says.” – wanna bet which one won’t have that problem? :D

danwat1234 | August 19, 2013

So, did the Model S do well in the small overlap crash test? I don't believe there is any mention of it in this Tesla article.
I hope it did well so it'll be Top Safety pick + rated. The car has to do decently well on the small overlap test in order to have the "+". It excelled in all other areas.

Also, does anybody know the actual roof crush strength weight?
Since the Tesla ia 4700 pounds with the largest battery pack, it should have 20,000 pound or higher peak forces, 25,000 would be awesome.

NomoDinos | August 19, 2013

danwat - I think the small overlap crash test is only done by the IIHS, and these crash test results are from NHTSA. From what I understand, IIHS hasn't released its data yet.

S4WRXTTCS | August 20, 2013

The only real weakness the Tesla has is it doesn't have much in terms of active crash avoidance systems.

Now some will say their a bit gimmicky, but they are things that people look for.

Even if a Tesla MS does better in crash protection there will still be people that see the Volvo as being safer because of features the Tesla MS doesn't have.

SamO | August 20, 2013


Most people think they are better than average drivers. Distracted driving, alcohol and drugs are the MAIN causes of injury accidents and fatalities.

Another system that prompts a driver to avoid collisions is only as good as the operator.

Tesla's safety systems may not prevent a collision but they ensure that you'll never die in one.

Can't say the same about a Volvo.

That being said watch Elon talk about Super Smart Active Safety Systems coming in future models (autopilot) and you'll see why active crash avoidance is coming.

ir | August 20, 2013

Re: small overlap

Remember that Tesla vs. Honda head-on? Half of the Honda's front is missing, does that count as a real-world small overlap result?

napatesla | August 20, 2013

I am surprised they haven't tested if for an offset crash as these are far more common than hitting something directly head on. Volvo has done a great job making sure their vehicles if crashed offset that the structural elements don't crumble and kill or seriously injure the occupants. I would like to see these tests before i buy: | August 20, 2013

It's not clear that Tesla hasn't tested for offset crash, but they don't control the cars that the IIHS tests. In fact many cars are never tested by the IIHS or may be tested years after a car's release. This includes many top name brands and vehicles.

If you're waiting for the IIHS test, you've likely eliminated many cars from your search.

ticobird | November 15, 2014

Over a year later and IIHS still has absolutely no crash test results for Tesla.

Red Sage ca us | November 15, 2014

It looks as though the Euro NCAP Crash Tests of the Tesla Model S included an offset frontal example. Five stars.


jordanrichard | November 15, 2014

Though IIHS certainly has the money, they would have to buy a few Teslas to conduct their tests.

You may notice that the car they use for the frontal impact test is not the same car they use for the side impact test. They also now do an offset test, which would involve another car.

I do agree it is odd that they haven't tested one yet.

Brian H | November 15, 2014

Maybe an earlier Tesla broke their crash barrier, and they need a stronger one.