Watch Slo-Mo Video Of Tesla Model 3 Crash Test: Plus Bolt Comparison

OCT 10 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 20

This is one of the most detailed videos you’ll find when it comes to the recent Tesla Model 3 crash tests by the NHTSA.

Not long ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that the Tesla Model 3 earned a perfect five-star crash test rating. This doesn’t just mean that the small electric sedan received five stars overall, but instead that it got five out of five stars in every single test. This is surely not unprecedented, as many other cars receive such a rating, but it’s exactly as CEO Elon Musk expected.

Not long after the initial announcement, Tesla shared that the Model 3 is actually the safest car ever tested, followed by the Model S and Model X. Since this follow-up announcement, there have been some mixed reports. We’ll have more details on surrounding our take on that later today, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out the video and share your insight with us in the comment section below.

Video Description via DPCcars on YouTube:

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.

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.

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.

Bonus video below shows how the Model 3 fared as compared to the Chevy Bolt:

Video description:

2018 Tesla Model 3

Overall Front Star Rating 5 star
Combines Driver and Passenger star ratings into a single frontal rating. The frontal barrier test simulates a head-on collision between two similar vehicles, each moving at 35 mph.

Overall Side Star Rating 5 star
Combines Side Barrier and Side Pole Star Ratings into a single side rating.

Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings
Combines the Side Barrier Driver and the Side Pole Star Ratings into a Front Seat rating. The Rear Seat rating is derived from the Side Barrier Rear Passenger rating.

Front Seat 5 star
Rear Seat 5 star
Side Barrier 5 star
The Side Barrier test simulates an intersection collision between a standing vehicle and moving barrier at 38.5 mph.

Driver 5 star
Rear Passenger 5 star

Rollover Star Rating 5 star
The Rollover Resistance test measures the risk of rollover in a single-vehicle, loss-of-control scenario.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Overall Front Star Rating 4 star
Combines Driver and Passenger star ratings into a single frontal rating. The frontal barrier test simulates a head-on collision between two similar vehicles, each moving at 35 mph.

Overall Side Star Rating 5 star
Combines Side Barrier and Side Pole Star Ratings into a single side rating.

Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings
Combines the Side Barrier Driver and the Side Pole Star Ratings into a Front Seat rating. The Rear Seat rating is derived from the Side Barrier Rear Passenger rating.

Front Seat 5 star
Rear Seat 4 star
Side Barrier 5 star
The Side Barrier test simulates an intersection collision between a standing vehicle and moving barrier at 38.5 mph.

Driver 5 star
Rear Passenger 4 star
Overall Side Pole Star Rating 5 star
The Side Pole Barrier test simulates a crash into a fixed object like a tree or utility pole.

Rollover Star Rating 5 star
The Rollover Resistance test measures the risk of rollover in a single-vehicle, loss-of-control scenario.

Categories: Chevrolet, Crashed EVs, Tesla

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20 Comments on "Watch Slo-Mo Video Of Tesla Model 3 Crash Test: Plus Bolt Comparison"

newest oldest most voted
bro1999

What is up with the constant hyperbole from Tesla? Tesla claims the Model 3 is the “safest car the NHSTA has ever tested”, and the NHSTA smacks down Tesla and says “A 5-star rating is the highest safety rating a vehicle can achieve. NHTSA does not distinguish safety performance beyond that rating, thus there is no ‘safest’ vehicle among those vehicles achieving 5-star ratings.”
A 100% score isn’t good enough for Tesla. Lol

Tong Tran

Looks like not only it achieved 5stars but based on the data it has the lowest probable injury of any car. This is important and should be recognized

philip d

What is up with the Bolt getting only 4 stars for the backseat passenger in two categories?

Phel

Their claim was due to the lowest profitability of injury out of all cars tested. When you look at the chart most cars are only a few percent behind.

Prsnep

NHSTA has already slapped Tesla’s wrist for making that claim based on NHSTA crash test results.

James

Maybe you have bad eyes?

These comparisons between Bolt and Model 3 show me that I’d rather be in a Model 3 than a Bolt in a collision. No matter if both received 5 stars or not, Just look at the markings on the cars to gauge intrusion. Look at the wheels and how much they have deflected.

Tesla detractors now assume we cannot see, or believe what we see with our own two eyes. Watch Tesla provided video comparing Volvo models also with 5 star ratings.

The problem with Tesla hate mongers is essentially, they believe we are stupid – and blind.

Henry

Take for example the grading system in high school (or lower school), two A students may not be on the same intellectual level. That’s why college entrance requires more in-depth analysis of a student’s aptitude/attitude such as an essay or personal experience in addition to simple grade.

For something as important as car safety, the more info the better. A 5-star rating may give the consumer confidence in the car he/she buys, but choosing a car with lower probability of injury will make him a better informed buyer.

ModernMarvelFan

But comparing across weight/size class is also inaccurate. Both NHTSA and IIHS makes a disclaimer. But Tesla manages to spin it to rank Model S and Model X behind Model 3. Those so called injury rate is measured by the crash tests which is heavily depending on the vehicle’s own size and weight. In real world, it doesn’t always reflect the result.

Remember the case in LA where a Chevy Tahoe demolished a Model S and killing its rear passengers and heavily injury its driver when the driver of the Tahoe was mostly uninjured and arrested at the scene for reckless driving? According to test data, the Model S should have been WAY SAFER. But it is ONLY the case when you run into a fixed barrier. Real world crashes are far more complex.

Viking79

The Bolt EV does incredibly well also. In the bottom view from the front it looks like the lower arms sheared off to protect the battery (drop below instead of going into).

The Tesla is a very safe car no doubt, but so is the Bolt EV earning a Top Safety Pick from IIHS (testing which was started because NHTSA tests were inadequate at representing insurance payouts). I imagine the Tesla will get best award there too, as long as it does better than its big brother S on the small overlap test.

BoltUp

Great to see how the layout of EVs can enhance safety, no engine to work around, and gas tank to protect. Very happy to see the Bolt perform well, and awesome job by Tesla to achieve such good results.

deTrekke

Did somebody remember that tweet regarding the center screen a few weeks after launch?
I guess they fixed that quite well. See @1:14 where the airbag pushes itself before the screen. To avoid flying shards, i guess.

ModernMarvelFan

The dummy’s army still make a contact with the center screen though.

HVACman

Both vehicles did outstanding in both protecting the passengers from injury and the pack from damage. I couldn’t see any visual difference in levels of intrusion or deceleration. I believe the “best ever” numbers cited by Tesla were the accelerometer measurements at various spots. It is likely the NHSTA considers the differences in those measurements between various “5 Star” rated vehicles to be numerically-trivial and not statistically significant, which is why they got upset with Tesla for publicly touting them. If GM, Ford,BMW etc got into that granular test numbers battle, it would be a promotional mess and end NHSTA’s simple, effective “star” scoring system.

Large blue overhead/side airbags deployed on the Bolt’s frontal collision as well as the front dashboard airbags. Only the front airbags deployed for the Model 3. Seems to me that the side airbags could protect the driver and passengers from flying side-window glass pieces and other debris that might intrude the cabin during any severe frontal impact. I wonder why Tesla’s didn’t deploy?

Cypress

I found that interesting as well.

cfox

There was no breaking of the side windows, so the added airbag deployments wouldn’t have helped, and could possibly have harmed. Airbags are explosive devices and you really only want them to go off when required. You can be hurt by the airbag itself, if you’re too close to it when it deploys for example.

groingo

Where is the dreaded offset test?

kubel

Small overlap is IIHS. Despite being privately funded, their testing is more comprehensive than government testing.

ModernMarvelFan

NHTSA doesn’t do what IIHS does.

IIHS’s small overlap frontal crash will happen eventually.

Cypress

Both very safe vehicles! Good job!

ModernMarvelFan

Again, the dummy’s right arm hit the center screen in the Model 3.