2013 Tesla Model S Receives Five Stars in NHTSA Crash Tests

Even crash test dummies are fans of the all-electric Tesla Model S.

The 2013 Tesla Model S can seemingly do no wrong. The fast, efficient, and luxurious electric sedan that won our 2013 Automobile of the Year award can now add “safe” to its list of positive attributes, thanks to a five star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NHTSA tests include a frontal crash, a side impact crash, and a rollover test, and the 2013 Tesla Model S received the top rating of five stars in each test. The frontal crash test crashes the vehicle into a fixed barrier at 35 miles per hour, and the side crash plows a 3,015 lb barrier moving at 38.5 mph into a standing vehicle. The rollover test measures the vehicle’s risk of rollover through a dynamic test which includes a sharp steering input and then an overcorrection with an entrance speed of between 35 and 50 mph.

Other electric vehicles have not fared quite as well in the NHTSA tests, like the 2013 Nissan Leaf which received four stars in each of the tests and four stars overall. Although the 2013 Tesla Model S receives a perfect safety rating from the NHTSA, it has not yet been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent agency that performs more stringent crash tests than the government.

The 2013 Tesla Model S is an all-electric luxury sedan that can achieve up to 265 miles of range in the top 85kw model.

Source: NHTSA

Frontal Impact seen from right side:

Frontal Impact seen from inside:

Side Barrier Test:

Side Pole Test: