Tesla Model S Versus Roof Crusher – Video


Tesla Model S Versus Roof Crusher

How does the Tesla Model S fare against a hydraulic roof crusher? Watch the video and you’ll soon find out.

Video description:

Tesla Model S vs Hydraulic Press

Peak force: about 18,000 pounds (9 tons)

A bit of background info will make this video more sensible. The hydraulic crusher seen in the video is employed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to test roof strength of vehicles during the agency’s extensive crash/safety testing.

Of note is that the IIHS gave the Model S a “good” rating for roof strength, but the agency noted that the heaviest version of the S, the P100D, would likely not fare as well in the roof strength category as the added weight would likely make it less safe during a rollover incident.

Full IIHS test results here

Categories: Crashed EVs, Tesla, Videos


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36 Comments on "Tesla Model S Versus Roof Crusher – Video"

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Just a “good” rating. How so? Didn’t the model s break the roof crushing machine just a couple of years ago?

No, not really. That’s just Tesla fanboi spin, exaggeration, and hyperbole. During NHTSA testing, a well used roof-crushing machine that previously tested other cars with much stronger roofs than the Model S broke/failed during a Model S roof crush test. It probably just need some maintenance. When the IIHS tested the Model S 60 on a machine in good working order, it barely got a “good” rating in the roof crush test with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.33. There are plenty of cars that score MUCH higher in the roof crush test than the Model S 60. The much heavier Model S P100D has the same amount of roof deflection as the Model S 60, but got only an “acceptable” rating since its added weight significantly lowers its strength-to-weight ratio to under 4. A “good” rating requires a strength-to-weight ratio of at least 4. Here’s a comparison of the Model S 60 to the Mercedes C Class, Hyundai Genesis, and the lowly Toyota Highlander: – the 4,452 lb Model S 60 was able to withstand a peak force of 19,271 lbs for a 4.33 strength-to-weight ratio; – the 3,522 lb Mercedes C Class was able to a withstand a peak… Read more »

Hmmm. . . I got my weight figure from Road and Track, but on second look it apparently includes 291 extra pounds which would be the weight of a driver, passenger and gear, or a very heavy driver and gear.

60D: 4597 lbs (+ 176 lbs)
85D: 4824 lbs (+ 176 lbs)
P85D: 4936 lbs (+ 291 lbs)”


Your comments ASSume that the P100D roof is constructed identically to the 60’s roof. But we already know that Tesla beefs up the rear end of cars with the rear-facing seat option.

So unless/until a P100D is tested, all of your claims are based upon ASSumptions.

Your comment ASSumes that because Tesla beefs up the rear end of their cars with the rear-facing seat option, Tesla also beefs up the roofs of heavier cars with dual motors and/or bigger batteries.

Nix said:
“So unless/until a P100D is tested, all of your claims are based upon ASSumptions.”

You should not ASSume that my claims are based on ASSumptions, because when you ASSume, you make an ASS out of U and only U.

FYI my claims are based upon the statements and ratings of the IIHS, and not upon ASSumptions. The IIHS rated the roof strength of the Model S P100D, and it received only an “Acceptable” rating. When you click on the “Roof Strength” button on the left side of the Model S ratings page on the IIHS website, the Test Details webpage states the following:

“Tested vehicle” “2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door”


Rating does not apply to Model S P100D. Rating of this model is Acceptable.”


Nix, you may want to press Tesla’s infamous “I want Mommy” button, because you’ve just been b*tch slapped! 😀

I’m not ASSuming anything. I’m saying that you (and the IIHS for that matter) ARE BOTH ASSuming test results that simply have never been tested. I’m saying the test results of an untested unknown are by definition unknown. The doc you listed actually documents EVEN MORE reinforcements that Tesla has done to their cars, including “structural brace between the frame and rocker panel was reinforced” and “B-pillars and roof rails were reinforced” So we now have 3 data points where Tesla is known to reinforce areas as needed. Which is exactly why I’m saying that ASSuming the roof is the same as a 60 is just that, an ASSuption. Their test was even done BEFORE Tesla ever released the P100DL to mass production. Show me the actual P100D test results. Don’t have them? Then the test results are, by definition, unknown. But like I posted below, you don’t even know how to correctly read and comprehend test results, so once you actually post P100D test results, I’ll teach you how to read them. ———————- Damn, I’ve never heard such crybaby whining about a car getting such good combined IIHS and NHTSA test results!! Out of a 40 total points available… Read more »

You’re ASSuming that the IIHS didn’t confirm with Tesla that the P100D doesn’t have a stronger roof (additional roof reinforcements) than a Model S 60. The IIHS wouldn’t have given the P100D an “Acceptible” rating if it didn’t have this information from Tesla. And Elon and Tesla definately would have raised a big stink on Twitter and in the news if the P100D actually has a stronger roof that would have garnered a “Good” rating in the roof crush test had it been performed. Elon’s silence speaks volumes.

They crash tested the 60 before the P100D went into production.

What part of that don’t you understand?

Yet the “Acceptable” rating for roof strength given by the IIHS to the P100D still stands, uncontested by Cult Leader Elon. Comprende amigo? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And the IIHS still hasn’t actually tested it.

Who’s the Amigo? You Gringo’s all look alike, here!bwaaahaaa!
/Snark !

But be careful outing your Amigo friends that are illegal! They can be rounded up more frequently now!
/Smirk / Sarcasm!

Your loud and incessant whining about a car that scored 39/40 possible points in IIHS and NHTSA combined test results as if that was something horrible and everybody was going to die is what speaks volumes.

Tesla and the IIHS have agreed to have the Model S retested. Tesla seems to be waiting to let the actual test results do the talking.

Sven, Your post shows a complete ignorance of why the the IIHS’s 4 categories exist, and why NHTSA doesn’t stack-rank cars within a rating. It is EXACTLY to avoid your exact kind of wrong-headed analysis. You are wrong-headedly implying that higher and higher numbers (like the MB) automatically imply better and better real world crash results. That simply isn’t true. And often can be 100% the opposite of reality. Quick math test for you. Let’s say 3 cars roll over, and all 3 experience 15,000 lbs of force in the rollover. Which roof would collapse, the car that was tested at 20K, the one that tested at 25K, or the one that tested at 30K? Hint: It is a trick question, because none of the roofs will collapse. This is exactly why NHTSA doesn’t stack rank, and why IIHS doesn’t have a “very good” category. Statistically, beating the best ranking simply doesn’t translate into better real world results. Your exact sort of “More is Always Better” mentality is what led US car makers to build heavy battle tanks in the 50’s/60’s/70’s that actually had horrible real world safety. The US car makers followed your mentality, and figured more steel was… Read more »

Nope. A stronger more rigid safety cage, is safer as it resists greater peak force to prevent roof intrusion. And instead of looking solely at peak strength, you should also look at the strength to weight ratio as heavier cars need higher peak strengths to provide the same roof crush protection/resistance as would a lighter car in a rollover crash. You do indeed want a stronger roof or the strongest roof if you drive off a hillside/mountainside and land inverted. The more G-forces that the roof of the car can withstand, the better your chances of survival. A 5.0 strength-to-weight ration would equal 5 G-forces. You would want to have those numbers as high as possible if your car were to drive off a hillside/mountainside, as Tesla Model S are wont to do. To claim otherwise is to be disingenuous.

Likewise, if a cement truck tipped over onto your car, you would definately want the highest peak force rating humanly possible. Don’t even try to claim otherwise.

See, this is exactly your problem. You don’t understand the math behind deceleration, and what a human can survive. What is the difference in survival rate between one car flying off a cliff and 1) The driver dying from a torn heart aorta from landing on the roof of a car that has an extremely rigid roof and transfers all the deceleration into the driver’s body or 2) The driver dying from head trauma because the roof collapses? Again, it’s a trick question. Because the survival rate for both is exactly the same. ________________________________ No, fabricating freak accidents that FAR divert from the norm does NOT prove that one car or another is statistically safer. That is like people who say they would have been killed if they were wearing a seatbelt, claiming that wearing a seatbelt is statistically less safe than not wearing a seatbelt. ______________________________ And thanks for falling for the trap I set for you. Because EVEN WITH DIFFERENT WEIGHTS, none of the rated passenger cars would have their roofs collapse in the example I gave. As I said, your mentality of “more is always better” simply doesn’t automatically translate into different REAL WORLD results. This is… Read more »

Nix said:
“No, fabricating freak accidents that FAR divert from the norm. . .”

There’s plenty of YouTube videos and news stories of cement trucks tipping over onto cars.



Yet again you prove my point.

What is the difference in survival rate between:

1) A car driver killed when a 70,000 lb cement truck crushes their 20,000 lb rated roof.

2) A car driver killed when a 70,000 lb cement truck crushes their 25,000 lb rated roof.

Yet again a trick question. The survival rate is the same.

You are truly ignorant in thinking the difference between a 20,000 lb rating and a 25,000 lb rating would have had ANY difference in the accidents you posted.

Silly Sven would have all roofs of cars rated at 70,000 lbs!! What a silly, silly donkey.

Like I said, I’ve never heard such ASSinine braying from donkey’s over a car that got 39/40 possible points in combined crash test results!!!!!!

Since you seem to have a fetish for ASSes, you, the donkey, and the two-headed llama should get together for a ménage à trois. Hee haw!!! 😀

At least Pushy can admit it when he is wrong. You certainly can’t.

Tell me again how you think your precious MB can survive a 70,000 lb cement truck landing on its roof?


Perhaps you can explain to Pu-Pu the difference between correlation and causation as it relates to roof crushing machine breaking during a test on the Model S. And while you’re at it, explain to him how Moore’s Law works and its historical validity. He has trouble with simple math. FYI, cement trucks aren’t always full of cement. An empty cement truck weighs approximately 26,000 lbs as opposed to the 24,642 lb peak force strength of a Mercedes C Class roof. It’s basic physics that when a truck that tips over onto a car and still has the driver-side or passenger-side wheels on the ground, doesn’t put all it weight on the crushed car as some of the weight is supported by the trucks wheels. It’s like when you’re doing pushups; your hands don’t support all your body weight as some of it is supported by your feet. The closer a car’s roof is to the tipped-over cement truck’s tires, which are still on road supporting the trucks weight, the less weight of the truck on the car’s roof. This is just like doing girl pushup from bent knees, which reduces the amount of body weight that must be supported by… Read more »
Sven — in your ignorance, you have YET AGAIN failed to understand what this test signifies. And you’ve done it in multiple ways. 1) Your example is a massive fail, because you leave out the Moment of Enertia, and pretend that the truck is statically leaning against your MB for your math to work. Like it was gently hoisted into place. Sadly, you are confusing FORCE with WEIGHT. Math fail. The only way to know how much FORCE would be applied to the roof, would be to know the velocity. I should stop here, because you’ve been 100% discredited already. But I won’t. 2) Ignoring your first massive fail, if you lean that same truck in the same way against a roof rated at 20K, it also would not collapse, because if you do the math you will find that the static rollover tilt angle for an empty truck on a tilt table would have to be around 30 degrees or more before tipover. And the weight on the roof itself would be determined by the center of gravity, with half the weight above the center of gravity. So even in your failed example, BOTH cars would be within their… Read more »

Yes, the Tesla Model S famously broke the NHTSA testing lab’s roof crush test machine.

But I don’t know that it was this type of crush test machine. This one pushes in from the side; I would imagine others push in from other directions.

I seriously doubt that the Tesla haters posting here know all the details about that, despite the FUD they’re posting. Likely they’re just regurgitating some B.S. some other Tesla hater made up to “explain away” the extraordinary strength of the Model S’s roof.

Regurgitated B.S. doesn’t smell any better than it did before the FUDster swallowed it!



Pu-Pu said: “. . . to ‘explain away’ the extraordinary strength of the Model S’s roof.” Good grief, you’re in fanboi denial. The Model S roof does NOT have “extraordinary strength,” but the Mercedes C Class does have an extraordinarily strong roof capable of withstanding 5,371 lbs greater peak force than a Model S (the difference is more than the weight of a P100D, LOL!): – the 4,452 lb Model S 60 was able to withstand a peak force of 19,271 lbs for a 4.33 strength-to-weight ratio; – the 3,522 lb Mercedes C Class was able to a withstand a peak force of a whopping 24,642 lbs for an incredible 7.00 strength-to-weight ratio. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/mercedes-benz/c-class-4-door-sedan Pu-Pu said: “But I don’t know that it was this type of crush test machine. This one pushes in from the side; I would imagine others push in from other directions.” Why grasp at straws when you can easily Google it? Yes, it was this type of crush test machine, one that pushed down on the sides of the roof “In May 2009, after years of delay, NHTSA upgraded the government safety standard governing roof crush resistance. . . The new rule says that vehicles weighing… Read more »

“Yes, it was this type of crush test machine, one that pushed down on the sides of the roof”

Well, I’m certainly willing to admit it when I’m wrong, because that’s how we learn things. And it does look like I was in this case.

“Pu-Pu, the Tesla’s roof did not break NHTSA’s roof-crush test machine.”

Contrariwise, you’ll never learn anything, will you Sven? Because you always refuse to admit it when you’ve been shown to be wrong, as you certainly are here. I already posted links to support this claim, above; no need to repeat them.

No need to respond to any further troll bait from you on the subject, either.

Now if only you would admit that you’re wrong about your heretical denial of Moore’s Law, there might be hope for you yet.

The old, well used, worn out, in need of maintenance roof-crush test machine just happened to break while testing the Model S. It’s happenstance. The machine didn’t break when testing the stronger roofs of other cars, which are much stronger than the Model S roof.

Although it doesn’t sound like it “good” is actually the highest rating. They use a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal,and Poor. Personally I think they should update this system because folks that don’t know this scale see the word “good” and assume that is not a very high rating.

For all the replies that go on about how there are “better” results and so on:
The ratings of the IIHS are – good, acceptable, marginal or poor

There is no higher rating than “Good.”

Out of context this test is meaningless. This becomes much more interesting when you see your favourite vehicles or the vehicle you own under the same test. As far as broken machines is concerned it was the roll over machine that had broken.

Exactly. Just another Tesla puff piece.

You can see and compare the ratings for other vehicles on the IIHS website.

The other test was conducted by NHTSA, and there is no such thing as a “roll over machine.” NHTSA, like the IIHS, uses a roof crush machine to determine/test the safety of a car in the event of a roll over crash. The NHTSA roof crusch machine did not break because the Model S roof so strong it couldn’t handle it. The machine previously tested other cars with much stronger roofs than a Model S. The machine broke because it was worn and well used, and probably needed maintenance. It could have broke due to something as simple as a burst rubber hydraulic line.

They should do a real roll, this kind of test is nonsense. I believe my Miata rolls the best!

Don’t see the point of this test. A Tesla is really hard to rollover.

All I have to say is the Tesla fanboys in the comments here are very apparent.

What’s up with all these bums bickering above. LOL

Long story short, Classic Model S’s are “safer” but that doesn’t matter. Actuality of an accident is slim and you’ll fair very well in your Tesla.