Tesla Motors Model S car in rating denial

By Peter Chubb - Aug 22, 2013

It was only yesterday when we reported that the Tesla Model S performed very well in NHTSA crash tests, and scored the maximum that the agency can give, which is five stars. However, what we found more interesting about this report was how Tesla said that their Model S actually scored 5.4, but this is said not to be the case.

There seems to be a Tesla Motors Model S car crash test rating denial from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, because while they admit this electric vehicle performed very well in crash tests, it was not off the charts as the car manufacturer would have us believe.

ABC News reports that Safercar.gov, who conducted the tests, who as you may know is a branch of the NHTSA said that the Tesla Model S had scored well in all tests and that it scored no more or no less than a five star rating. They have never rated vehicles beyond five stars, so why would Tesla Motors say such a thing?

Okay, so it is obvious that car manufactures such as Tesla will try to spin things like this to their advantage, but when it comes to safety, we feel that it is something they should never spin because saying the Tesla Model S is the safest car in history is misleading.

There’s nothing more important on a car than its safety, and while we cannot deny how impressed we are we the five star rating of the Model S, why would they feel the need to make it sound even better?

Do not let this little PR stunt put you off though because the Model S is a fantastic vehicle and deserves some praise. Let’s hope the vehicle enjoys the same success in Europe as it has done in the US, although the BMW i3 and i8 may have something to say about that?

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Also See: New Tesla Model S update now outperforms McLaren P1 to 60 MPH

  • recoveringpetroladdict

    Well said Weapon zero. Fact: Tesla just happens to have really really good scores in almost all tests available. Fact: Even consumer reports, who is known for their no nonsense, no fluff testing of a car’s practicality gave it a 99 out of 100 possible points. Fact: The i3 and i8 are jokes if you look at the tests. Fact: We’re a nation of tests. Fact: You have to pass them to stay in business.

    Do all the tests make the Tesla the best car on the market? That’s a subjective question… non-testable, opinion based and the media loves take the facts and make narratives out of them.

    The bigger picture however, that we need to take note of is that the PR is good not just for Tesla, but for the EV world, and for us as consumer/drivers. It raises the bar for every car company out there (petrol/hybrid/electric). It says EV’s are here to stay and if you want to stay in business, you better step up your game. That (hopefully) means more reliable, safer, and efficient choices when it comes to purchasing a new car in the future.

  • WeaponZero

    There is nothing misleading, people are just misunderstanding. NHTSA provides manufacturers information on how their car did with a VSS score. Tesla scored 5.4 in the VSS score.

    Now lets look at basic logic, if your car has a VSS of 4.7, your car is 4 stars. If your car scored 5.4, your car is 5 stars. If your car scored 5.1, it is still 5 stars. All Tesla did was include the VSS score. The whole thing about “breaking the chart” was made up by the media.

    They are also not misleading people that the Tesla Model S is the safest car. Tesla never claimed to be the safest car in the PR, they only claimed to have gotten the best NHTSA safety score. The Tesla Model S scored the highest VSS score in history, this part is also true.

    PS: The i3 and i8 are a joke.