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Tesla Model S Achieves Best Safety Rating of Any Car Ever Tested

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Aug. 20, 2013—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Tesla Model S an overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) of 5.4 stars, a record high. The Model S achieved a five-star safety rating overall and in every subcategory.

Approximately one percent of all cars tested by the federal government achieve five 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 VSS provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record.

Taking into account the probability of injury from front, side, rear and rollover accidents, the Model S set a record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants and exceeded the safety score of all SUVs and minivans, even though it is a sedan.

The Model S was designed to reach a five-star rating no matter what point of the car was impacted. 

Its small electric motor (about a foot in diameter) allows space for a second trunk in the front of the car, allowing for more crumple room during a high-speed impact.

With a very low center of gravity, the Model S was substantially better in rollover risk, with the other top vehicles approximately 50 percent worse. The roof is reinforced with a center pillar and the rear contains a double bumper.

The car’s lithium-ion battery did not catch fire at any time before, during or after the NHTSA testing.

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