Saftey Rating?

Saftey Rating?

OK, electric, cool. Simple motor with few moving parts, low maintenance cool. But I am a mom, so talk to me about safety. How much does it weigh, what are the crash ratings, airbags front, sides and headcurtains?

Please tell me that it doesn't accomplish the mileage by being so light weight that if it's in a crash it's a serious crash. Also, since the battery at 12K is the most expensive to replace, does anyone have an idea how easy it is to damage in a crash?

And how are insurers dealing with this car? Is it more expensive to insure since they don't know what to expect?

ajamison | May 16, 2013

I am not sure the exact weight but it is over 2000 pounds for sure I know its a heavy car the battery pack alone weighs over 1000 pounds.

Elon said that the car was engineered to be 5 star safety rated in every category, so assuming that it got these ratings its very safe. It does have more then the typical driver/passenger airbag if that helps the exact number of airbags I am not sure of.

I to have been researching this car as I have a 5 year old and I found the best source of information as odd as it may seem is to watch interviews with Elon on Youtube. Alot of what he says answered several of my and some of your questions which were later verified by videos owners uploaded showing/confirming these facts.

I will also mention if you put any merit in what he says (which I would) Elon also mentioned that having 5 kids himself he designed this car to be super family friendly and safe.

Hope this helps I know I do not have exact figures but maybe it can set at least some of your worries at ease.

vgrinshpun | May 16, 2013

Tesla Model S is probably the safest car on the road. Car is extremely heavy, weights more than 4600 pounds.

There was a recent high speed head-on collision involving Model S. Sadly, two people in the car involved in this collision were pronounced dead on the scene. The impact was so violent that roof of this car buckled.

Model S driver was able to freely open the door and walk out of his car. Neither the windshield nor glass panoramic roof of Model S were damaged in the accident. First responders were in awe at how Model S was able to fare in this violent accident. For more details see the following link:

From the Motor Trend 2013 car of the Year Award write-up:

"When a crash does happen, the usual complement of passive safety devices, including an array of airbags, kick into play. Beyond that, clever engineering such as the double octagon extrusions front and rear, and the immensely strong roof structure, is working to protect you. Tesla claims the Model S outperforms federal crash standards, having been impact-tested at 50 mph (the mandatory standard is 35 mph) and exceeding the roof crush requirement by a factor of 2."

Read more:

GeekEV | May 16, 2013

This thread shows its safety better than anything:

You have nothing to worry about. As far as weight, the 60 is 4,500 pounds, the 85 is even more.

GeekEV | May 16, 2013

@vgrinshpun and I posted at the same time...

ajamison | May 16, 2013

I am a sad panda now reading about that accident :( I am happy the Tesla owner survived but sad that 2 people lost their lives.

skymaster | May 16, 2013

The Tesla Model S Is the safest auto in the wild, period..

Vawlkus | May 19, 2013

If you're worried about rollovers, you can safely drop that as a concern. With battery pack covering the bottom of the car between the wheels it's almost impossible to flip. If that's not enough, S's roof was designed to hold up under 6 times S's own weight. The car they tried to crush for that test actually broke the crusher machine.

EarlyAdopter | May 19, 2013

The car was designed to achieve 5 stars in every crash test category, a feat that only two other cars have achieved. While Tesla has done their own crash tests and is likely certain of the outcome, it won't be official until the NHTSA anonymously buys a Model S and tests it themselves.

EarlyAdopter | May 19, 2013

As for the questions about weight and number of airbags, they can be answered on the Model S Specs page right here on this site:

Curb weight: 4,647.3 lbs

Eight airbags: head, knee and pelvis airbags in the front plus two side curtain airbags
Driver and front passenger seat sensors
Driver seat position sensor
Three point driver and front passenger safety belts with retractor pretensioners and secondary lap anchor pretensioners and load limiters
Three point second row safety belts for all three seats
Acoustic front row safety belt warning
Rollover crash sensor
Crash sensor for high voltage disconnect
Three second row LATCH attachments for child seat installations (accommodates three child seats simultaneously: two with LATCH and one with top tether and belt)
Rear door child safety locks
Interior, manual release mechanism for all doors, front trunk, and rear cargo area
Anti-theft alarm and immobilizer system
Horn. Beep. Beep.

Mark K | May 19, 2013

Maddy - the Model S has the longest crumple zone of any car made.

It's 3X the impact absorption of a BMW 7, Mercedes S, and Audi A8.

It is the safest car on the road.

This is exactly why I got one for my wife and kids. To put them in anything else would be to put them at greater risk.

This is not widely appreciated now because the reasons are based on physics.

But accident data will overwhelmingly prove this over the next few years.

DouglasR | May 19, 2013

If your phone is connected, will the car automatically dial 911 in the event of a crash? I believe my Ford does this.

kback | May 19, 2013


I'm pretty sure that the Tesla does not dial 911 in the event of a crash. Neither do my Acura or Infiniti. However, in the event of a crash, you're much more likely to be able to dial 911 yourself if you're in a Tesla.