NHTSA Stands By 5 Star Safety Rating For 2014 Model S (w/video)

DEC 23 2013 BY JAY COLE 18

Tesla put out a note on Monday touting the continued safety rating of the Model S into 2014.

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reaffirmed the 5-star safety rating of the Tesla Model S overall and in all subcategories for Model Year 2014, confirming the highest safety rating in America.”

Tesla Model S Side Pole Impact

Tesla Model S Side Pole Impact

Tesla also took a moment to revisit the lower risk expectancy of experiencing a fire in the Model S over a conventional vehicle; although if it was us, we think we probably would have taken a pass on highlighting the incident again.

“While Tesla is awaiting feedback from NHTSA regarding their investigation of recent fire incidents, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), recently concluded its review of the incidents, finding no manufacturer-related defects or need for further action.  (InsideEVs story on that can be found here)

It is worth noting that a Tesla vehicle is over five times less likely to experience a fire than the average gasoline car and that there have been zero serious injuries or deaths for any reason ever, fire or otherwise, in a Model S. Over the course of more than 100 million miles driven in almost every possible terrain, weather and crash conditions, the Tesla Model S has consistently protected its driver and passengers, achieving the best safety track record of any car on the road.”

As a refresher, here is the 2013 NHSTA data sheets, plus all the footage you can stand of the safety agency destroying the 265 mile EV:

Model S 5 Star

Model S 5 Star


Frontal Test

Side Tests

Side Tests

Rollover Test

Rollover Test

Categories: Tesla


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18 Comments on "NHTSA Stands By 5 Star Safety Rating For 2014 Model S (w/video)"

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Interesting. Was the Model S retested? Otherwise, is the NHTSA really reaffirming anything?

It didn’t need to be retested as they have made zero changes, it’s the same for 2014 as 2013. …In fact, all automakers can put whatever year on whenever they want. I.E., if you buy a new car today that came off the production line in August, which the company dubs “2014” but was unchanged from July to August, and in July it was dubbed a “2013” of that model, it is considered the “2014” model of that car.

So, any car that is unchanged from one year to the next can use the same safety rating received the previous year.

To me, this is the NHTSA saying that, regardless of what the media wants to change, the NHTSA still considers this the safest car made.

…….so where did the term “car-b-que” originate from?……..lol

HINT: It wasn’t an Electric Car.

what a great car ! i wish to have one !
like tina turner said ,you are simply the besttttttt

Tesla has gotten into trouble calling itself the safest car in America two times now. The Nhtsa may have reaffirmed 5 starts (as well as plenty of other 5 star cars), but the Nhtsa has threatened to remove Tesla from the ratings system period because of their on-going abuse of their ratings system. Interesting and just by total coincidence, Tesla has not reported That.

Tesla scored 5.4 stars… The car had to be forced to rollover, and broke a roof crushing machine. Tesla’s engineering has earned them the right to toot their own horn.

I don’t make the rules. Unimportant what I think in the final analysis… But I reserve the right to form my own judgements from the facts given. Nhtsa says 5.4 is a meaningless term. That’s what they say. If you disagree, please argue the point with them.

I will restate what “Anon” stated: “The car had to be forced to rollover, and broke a roof crushing machine” …no other car has ever had to be forced to rollover and broken the roof crushing machine.

Why do you try to demean something that is better and what we have all wanted for many years? Do you benefit from big oil? I’m tired of people like you trying to pick apart a small company for making a BIG achievement! I can. not. wait. for ALL-electric cars to be mainstream. It has been a long time coming. Get over it. Whatever “it” is.

Here! Here! : )

I totally agree with Tesla getting it out there again. Yes this is a paradigm shift from the norm, but the truth is the uninformed still believes that there were many Chevy Volt fires compared to one and sees the Tesla Model S as a fire risk.

The data set is still small but it is worth getting the challenge out there that in fact EVs are safer and less of a fire hazard by a factor of 10. Of the first billion electric miles driven, we have less than ten fires with four from collisions. In any given billion ICE miles, you have roughly 90 fires with 30 from collisions. So yeah, if fires is your fear, you need to sell your ICE and join the modern fleet of which safety is just one more of its accolades.

Tesla has the safety rating and they should wear it proud.


I wasn’t aware of ANY in-service volt fires.

The Model S is 4x MORE likely to experience a fire vs. an ICE. Tesla is misrepresenting the risk.
Only 4% of car fires as from a collision. Most are old age caused leaks of flammable fluids. Tesla Model S is very new, no old cars. But number of fires from collision much HIGHER than typical for ICE vehicles.

Tesla should own up and admit it. Not try to misrepresent. That will come back to bite them sooner or later.

We’re no relation Bill, but its interesting that on GreenCarReports, and on this blogsite, people are saying how great it is that Tesla is now reduced current if the juice fluctuates, whatever that means, since I don’t recall it being definitively stated yet. Then there were all kinds of comments about putting a heat sensor in the EVSE.

My solution is to chop the male plug off the model S UMC cordset and go to a big box store and buy a spec grade Nema 14-50P and be done with any unnecessary heating near a wall outlet. For $20.

For once, the versatility of the adapter plug setup in the Tesla EVSE appears to be a poor design choice, even a safety hazard if the reports of melted connector plugs by Tesla owners are to be taken seriously.

My question, will the UL revoke the listing for the EVSE with the connectors?

“Only 4% of car fires are from collisions.” That’s right. Same as 30 fires per billion miles. Turns out EVs are less than 4% with 4 collision fires per billion. Yes, I think it is fair to look primarily at collisions since many of the other numbers are due to aging vehicles. So ICE = 30 EV = 4 (really 3) “Model S is 4x more like to experience a fire vs and ICE” Also true, but look at your interpretation. One specific auto vs the entire ICE spectrum. Look further into the interpretation of the current small data set still shows the Model S design fails in one specific type of accident, that being “running over hard object at high speeds”. It is also worth stating that though the fire is more likely the “safety” for personal injury still appears to be higher. No impaling by road objects coming up through the floor board like the full spectrum of ICEs in your comparison. So first, I have to consider the odds of running over a large object at high speed, and then determine which is worse, the car calming telling me to pull over and exit the vehicle or… Read more »


Tesla is crooked. Tesla has been rebuked for misrepresenting NHTSA safety ratings. I think Tesla should be sued for misrepresenting its product. The Tesla is a fire and explosion hazard. Tesla foolishly designed its lightly armored with the battery to be close to the roadway. I think Tesla is foolish for design such lightweight connectors to handle such high amperage. I think it was foolish to design a Tesla charge chargers so that common charge configurations would have multiple connections close together that increase heat and the odds of a fire. I think it was foolish of Tesla to design chargers, so that common charge configurations would act like a lever and put undue force on the wall outlets, making the wall outlets more prone to fail and start fires. I think Tesla’s shady practices are pretty self in a position of huge liability. Tesla and many Tesla fanatics argue out of both sides of their mouth. They try to portray competitors as less safe citing statistics, yet when statistics show that Tesla is less safe, they argue that statistics don’t matter. Facts, statistics, skepticism and criticism of Tesla isn’t well-tolerated. Recently there was a Tesla related garage fire. The… Read more »