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Tesla Model S Gets Better-Than-Perfect Safety Rating: 5.4 Out of 5

Image: Tesla Model S Gets Better-Than-Perfect Safety Rating: 5.4 Out of 5

Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 06:50 PM

By Morgan Chilson

The Tesla Model S is the safest car ever, scoring a 5.4 out of 5 in a crash test safety rating, the highest number ever given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The snazzy, all-electric car has gotten accolades from all over, reported ABC News, including being compared to a Porsche for its handling.

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The Tesla Model S got a top score of 5 on the crash test, which other cars do get, but what made it stand out was extremely high scores in individual categories, even beating out SUVs, the CSM said. The tests covers things like side pole impact, the risk of rollover, and front impact.

In a statement on the Tesla Motors website, the company reported, “Approximately one percent of all cars tested by the federal government achieve 5 stars across the board. NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5, however safety levels better than 5 stars are captured in the overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars.”

The company said the lack of a large gasoline engine block gave the car some advantage, giving it a “much longer crumple zone to absorb a high speed impact.” In the side pole impact test, which is a tough one, Tesla Motors said, the car even beat out the Volvo S60, preserving 63.5 percent of the driver's residual space versus 7.8 percent for the Volvo.

ABC News said safety is apparently a focus of Tesla, which recalled some cars in June for a weakness in a mounting bracket that wasn’t caught by any regulators. In a statement about that issue, Tesla Motors said no customers had complained about the problem, and the welded joint hadn’t actually detached on any cars.

NHTSA ratings are available online.

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