The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that the Tesla Model S earned a 5-star rating — in each crash configuration — front, side, rear, and rollover.
The agency’s testing also showed that the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants, based on specific scoring.
According to Tesla, the vehicle’s unique design creates major injury-prevention advantages. The California-based automaker explained, “The Model S has the advantage in the front of not having a large gasoline engine block, thus creating a much longer crumple zone to absorb a high speed impact. This is fundamentally a force over distance problem – the longer the crumple zone, the more time there is to slow down occupants at g loads that do not cause injuries.”
The sedan’s low center of gravity and the mid-mount position of the battery pack also make the vehicle remarkably stable and unlikely to tip over, particularly when compared with SUVs and minivans with much higher centers of gravity.
Despite its stellar safety performance, Tesla still faces an uphill battle with auto dealers, who seek to force the company to stop selling vehicles directly to the public, instead of making its customers spend an average of 4 hours at a car dealership in order to drive a Tesla home.