There’s one area where the Tesla shines: crash safety tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Tesla Model 3 is no exception. Check out the videos below to watch the crash tests.
The rear-wheel-drive version of the Tesla Model 3 earned an all-around five-star safety rating from NHTSA, the highest possible issued by the agency. These tests cover frontal, side and rollover crashes. The Model 3 received five stars in each category, as well as sub categories such as side barrier and pole crashes.
Tesla’s crash rating is buoyed by the absence of an internal combustion engine. For instance, without a motor in the hood, there’s more room for a forward crumple zone. Tesla vehicles also tend to be resistant to rollovers because the battery pack is located at the bottom of the vehicle, giving it a low center of gravity. The risk of a rollover in a Tesla Model 3 is 6.6 percent, according to NHTSA.
Tesla Model 3 is not the only vehicle to earn the highest rating. There are other 2018 model year vehicles that have earned a five-star rating from NHTSA, including the Subaru Legacy and Toyota Camry four-door hybrid. It’s also worth noting, as Musk did Thursday, that five-star ratings only mean the vehicle meets a certain threshold. Injury probability stats, which are expected soon, indicate by how much.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also conducts crash tests on vehicles to determine safety ratings. The IIHS, which represents automobile insurers, has not published ratings on the Model 3.