Late Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Tesla Model S a 5-star safety rating in every subcategory, a rating that just 1% of all federally tested cars achieve. In a press release, the NHTSA noted that although it doesn't publish ratings above 5, the Model S managed to get a 5.4 rating in overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS), a new record.
Perhaps even more incredible than the Model S achieving off-the-chart records in safety is the fact that the roof is so strong -- four additional fully loaded Model S vehicles could be placed on top of the car before the roof caved in.
"Of note, during validation of Model S roof crush protection at an independent commercial facility, the testing machine failed at just above 4 g's. While the exact number is uncertain due to Model S breaking the testing machine, what this means is that at least four additional fully loaded Model S vehicles could be placed on top of an owner's car without the roof caving in. This is achieved primarily through a center (B) pillar reinforcement attached via aerospace grade bolts."Perhaps even more incredible is that the lithium-ion battery that powers the Model S and the Tesla Roadster has never caught fire. This comes despite several high-impact crashes. The press release from the NHTSA is just the latest in a string of positive reports for Tesla, as it continues to reshape the electric car market and automotive sales in general. Earlier this year, Consumer Reports gave the Model S the highest score ever for a car it has tested. Consumers are responding as the company continues to sell more Model S cars than it can make. These announcements have helped the stock, which is up another 2% Tuesday on the back of the NHTSA press release. In the second quarter, CEO Elon Musk noted that Tesla was still supply constrained, despite having delivered 5,150 Model S units. For the second time in its history, Tesla was profitable, earning 5 cents a share on $405 million in sales. The Model S continues to blow past the wildest expectations of industry observers. If there were any safety concerns that potential buyers had before buying the car, they are likely alleviated from this analysis. Tesla, perhaps unlike any company in technology and certainly automotive, has managed to exceed the wildest expectations time and time again and is reshaping the electric car market one Model S at a time.