What just happened? Tesla and founder Elon Musk received good news this week as the NHTSA recently awarded the Model 3 a five-star safety rating across the board. According to Musk, the sedan has the potential to be the safest car ever tested.
Tesla’s rear-wheel drive Model 3 sedan has earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In testing, the Model 3 earned top marks in all three categories. The frontal crash, which combines front driver side and front passenger side ratings into a single score, simulates a head-on collision between two similar vehicles, each moving at 35 mph. The side barrier testing simulates an intersection collision between a stationary vehicle and a moving barrier at 38.5 mph as well as a side pole barrier test simulating a crash into a fixed object like a utility pole or a tree while the rollover resistance test measures the risk of rollover during a loss-of-control scenario.
In the latter test, the Model 3 earned a rollover resistance score of 6.60 percent.
The low center of gravity created by housing the batteries in the floorboard as well the lack of an engine up front both contribute to the Model 3’s high marks in testing. The Model S and Model X also earned five-star ratings in NHTSA testing.
Elon Musk said on Twitter that the NHTSA will post its final safety probability stats soon, adding that the Model 3 has a shot at being the safest car ever tested.