Tesla Model X is officially the highest safety rated SUV receiving a 5-star rating in every safety category. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed the electric car has received a 5-star rating in every category and subcategory after the first crash test videos were released today. The NHTSA conducted the first independent crash test of the Tesla Model X since its launch in 2015.
Watch these approved videos of the crash tests to get the full impact of the results.
Tesla had predicted high scores
Tesla had predicted the grating of the safety ratings commenting on its blog, “Model X performs so much better in a crash than gas-powered SUVs because of its all-electric architecture and powertrain design. The rigid, fortified battery pack that powers Model X is mounted beneath the floor of the vehicle creating a center of gravity so low that Model X has the lowest rollover probability of any SUV on the road. No other SUV has ever come close to meeting and exceeding this rollover requirement."
In fact, the rollover likelihood is so low Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, famously boasted that they couldn’t even “flip” the Tesla Model X during internal crash testing. Rollover is a common safety problem for SUVs.
The safety authority simulated head-on collisions of the Tesla Model X moving at 55 km/h. It also analyzed how a human, simulated by a crash test dummy would be impacted by the crash. A simulation of a crash into stationary objects like poles or trees was also tested.
[Image Source: Tesla]
What sets the Tesla Model X apart from other electric and SUV designs is the lack of an engine block in the front, which allows for the addition of a large crumple zone. Tesla claims that owners of the Model X have a 93 percent probability of escaping safely from a crash without serious injury. Their website states, "NHTSA’s tests assess both the structure of the vehicle, which must minimize intrusion into the cabin and absorb as much energy as possible and also the seatbelt and airbag restraint system, which must maximize injury mitigation in the event of a crash. Among the nine subcategories rated by NHTSA, including frontal impact, side impact, and pole impact tests conducted on both the driver and passenger side as well as the rollover test, Model X achieved 5-stars in every category and sub-category." Musk is often tweeting images of Tesla vehicles involved in crashes, where the occupants escaped serious injury.
T-boned in a Model X at 65 mph https://t.co/vt6g89Z9rk
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 17 Mayıs 2017
Tesla's safety history
This came back to haunt Musk last year when a Model S owner was killed when his car smashed into a semi-trailer. It was revealed later that the Model S was in Autopilot mode prompting questions about the legitimacy of Tesla’s advanced driver assist system. NHTSA later cleared Tesla of any involvement in the crash. The crash did prompt Tesla to drop its partnership with Israel -based tech company MobileEye who initially developed the Autopilot software for Tesla. Tesla is now developing its own software which will be released later this year.
While the Tesla Model X is the safest SUV out there, it is difficult to compare it to its competitors who lag behind in efficiency statistics.
Featured Image Source: Tesla