New Nissan LEAF Gets 5-Star Safety Rating In Japan (w/videos)

FEB 21 2018 BY MARK KANE 22

The new Nissan LEAF achieved first success in the crash test assessment, receiving 5-star safety rating from the Japan New Car Assessment Program.

New Nissan LEAF gets 5-star safety rating

Having a five-star rating makes the 2018 LEAF one of the safest new cars available on the Japanese market.

This rating may encourage even more Japanese consumers to buy the LEAF and another sales surge could be the result.

The first generation LEAF received a four-star rating in Japan back in 2011, so the 5-star rating of the new LEAF marks an improvement.

“In earning the top grade, the zero-emission LEAF with ProPILOT autonomous technology scored 94.8 points out of a possible 100 for occupant safety in a collision”

“Safety features that contributed to the new Nissan LEAF’s five-star rating include its highly rigid body structure, six SRS airbags, seats with enforced headrests and back frames, and seat belts with pre-tensioners and load-limiting capabilities for the front and rear outboard seating positions.

The new Nissan LEAF also passed the Japan New Car Assessment Program’s electric shock protection test. The test gauges how well electric vehicles protect occupants from electric shock in a collision. The car has a highly protective battery case, a layout and body structure that shield occupants from high-voltage parts, and a high-voltage cutoff device that activates in a collision.

First introduced in 2010, the Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. The all-new version comes with a number of advanced technologies including ProPILOT technology for autonomous single-lane driving on highways and the ProPILOT Park autonomous parking system. It also features e-Pedal, which lets drivers accelerate and brake by operating only the accelerator pedal.

Nissan continues to develop electric-vehicle and autonomous driving technologies to enhance safety and convenience for drivers as part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.”

Read Also: Tesla Model X Crash Tests Complete – 5 Stars In All Categories

Results (see details here):

  • Overall result: 179.4 points (out of 200 possible)
  • Occupants protection: 94.78 points (out of 100 possible)
  • Pedestrian Protection: 67.82 points
  • PSBR: 4.0 points

New Nissan LEAF gets 5-star safety rating

Categories: Crashed EVs, Nissan, Videos

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22 Comments on "New Nissan LEAF Gets 5-Star Safety Rating In Japan (w/videos)"

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Cool. With the advantages that evs have in crashes it should only increase their uptake rate.


What advantages are you alluding to?

The lack of engine? Well, the electric motor/gearbox/cooling system are still in the front of the car as in the case of the LEAF. Modern ICE cars have engine mount disengage in the event of crash so they would drop to the ground and skid under the car.

Lack of gasoline? That is true since the fire hazard of gasoline fire is far greater than any electric fire potentially.

Other than the gasoline part, it isn’t so much advantage of the powertrain but rather the design of the car that determines whether a vehicle is safe or not.


The electric motor and gearbox are tiny compared to an ICE, so the crumple zone can be much more effective.

Lower center of gravity, means rolling over is less likely, and the structure of the battery strengthens the protective cell around the passenger cabin.



I thought it was pretty much common knowledge that the ev is generally much safer than an ice. In addition to what Neil and MMF said I would add regenerative braking which is going to slow you down some in the critical moments just before impact.
While that is not help much when you going fast at low speeds it could prevent a fender bender. In addition many electric vehicles have driver assist features that are not as common in all ice.


Remember the 2012-17 outgoing Leaf was only 4 out of 5 star in the US for front passenger 1/2 overlap crash rating. This looks as though this newest crash rating will be a welcome improvement, for some of the cautious Nissan Buyers/Leasers.


Regen definitely improves braking reaction time. The car is slowing down even before you hit the brakes. Although some trolls say that EV drivers will forget how to use the brakes because of one pedal driving.

“The electric motor and gearbox are tiny compared to an ICE, so the crumple zone can be much more effective.” Potentially is the key word. But in the real world design, it seems that ICE cars are just as safe as EVs in terms of crash worthiness. In the case of LEAF, it wasn’t so good the first time around, especially in the small overlap frontal crash. That is why I think the design still dominates. The so called advantage is really just lack of gasoline which is highly flammable. “Lower center of gravity, means rolling over is less likely, and the structure of the battery strengthens the protective cell around the passenger cabin.” Maybe. Roll over rate for LEAF is not significantly better than other ICE vehicles and battery structure is only helpful if the design has that in mind such as Tesla. But with the battery pack sitting so low, in a crash against SUV/Pickup trucks, it doesn’t do a thing. So, again, it goes back to how it is designed. The only “major advantage” I can see by being an EV is not have a highly flammable gasoline tank onboard. That is something that regardless how design… Read more »

The charger and inverter boxes are light, empty aluminium boxes with light easily crushed circuit boards and cables. Not 200lbs of solid metal hurtling through the firewall.


“Not 200lbs of solid metal hurtling through the firewall.”

Modern ICE cars all designed with engine mount that will collapse in the event of crash which will send the engine downward below the floor, rather than through the firewall. If you watch most of the crash today on modern vehicles, NONE of the engine ever go thru the firewall during a crash.

Back in the 60s and 70s, those engine would go through the firewall and those designs have long been obsolete.


It’s not as if the engine proactively drops out when collision is imminent so the engine can drop down out of the way in the millisecond during impact. An engine doesn’t have that much clearance to the ground for it to drop down below the floor unless you are driving some like a Ford Raptor.


In order to compress the front by one meter (just over one yard) in “the millisecond of impact” the relative speeds of the vehicles must be 1000 m/s, which is 3600 kph. In a survivable head-on collision you are speaking of more than thirty times as long a time interval. (Even if the relative speeds may be very high, say, 180 kph, at impact, it quickly decreases as the crumple zones of both vehicles compresses. Probably 50-100 ms is closer to the mark.)


180 kph = 50 meters per second or 0.02 seconds per meter, inversely 20 milliseconds per meter. But you are splitting hairs here and just trying to argue a small number as opposed to the point itself.


The engine block and transmission do nothing to dissipate the energy of the crash. If it comes off it’s mounts then it becomes a solid block of metal for the passenger compartment to smash itself against. If it stays attached, it does nothing to slow the crash and lessen impact injuries. Either way, it takes up space in the engine compartment instead of providing a crumble zone.


Tough car.


Another selling point. This will be a banner year for LEAF sales world wide. I am sure Nissan will be able to sell every LEAF it can make.


Yep, it looks like Nissan finally found the winner that they planned for the first time around.


Lateral crash too high. What would happens if it touch the battery. I’ll tell you. Fire and explosions.
And why some evs dont do the ncap test? Example, VW egolf. ICE its not the same. Fluence ZE pass the test. Egolf never try it.




There is no difference between NCAP and NHTSA crash tests. All EVs have to pass the same side pole crash tests. Sorry to tell you but no fires, no explosions.


You are right. The whole perpetuation of fire and explosions fear was prevalent 10 years ago. 600,000 cars sold between Tesla and the Nissan Leaf, yet we don’t have cars exploding at at rate even as high as ICE.


But contrary to what most people believe, it’s not the fact that gasoline is explosive that is the problem. Gasoline vapour is explosive only at concentrations between 1.4% and 7.6% by volume – it does not ignite when the mixture is leaner or richer than that. Unconstrained, such as if a tank ruptures in a crash, it will be much too lean to explode. However, it mixes with air very well and this makes it extremely flammable and fast burning.

The biggest safety problem compared to battery-powered cars is simply the huge amount of energy available and how quickly it can be released – without any actual explosion. A gasoline car after all typically carries > 500 kWh, and can convert it all to heat in seconds. Battery fires, when they do happen, tends to take hours when the pack is separated into modules, even if the internal firewalls break down (breaking them down takes time).