Home / Auto News / News article: Tesla Model S is NOT the Safest Car Ever, Say Feds - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Aug 22 2013, 8:01 AM


Always able to find itself at the center of controversy, Tesla’s latest PR stunt has earned it a slap on the wrist by a Federal safety agency.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a statement in rebuttal to Tesla‘s claim that the Model S is the safest car ever and that it earned a, “new combined record of 5.4 stars” according to a Tesla release.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S is the Safest Car… Ever

“The agency’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program is designed to provide consumers with information about the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles beyond what is required by Federal standards,” says the NHTSA release. “One star is the lowest rating; five stars is the highest. More stars equal safer cars.” The statement goes on to comment that the agency, “does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the star rating categories.”

That said, a 5-star rating for the Tesla Model S is equal to any other car with a rating of 5-stars, with another example being the Volvo S60.

In addition, the agency chides Tesla’s overzealous claims, commenting that it, “has guidelines in place for automakers and advertising agencies to follow, helping ensure that accurate information is portrayed to the public.”

Did Tesla follow those guidelines? It’s likely the electric automaker, its eccentric CEO, Elon Musk, and its clever PR department will find a way to chime-in.

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

  • Heather R

    This is BS. I swear you guys are a bunch of Tesla haters.

  • kdawg

    “Tesla Model S is NOT the Safest Car Ever, Say Feds”
    They never said that.

  • chavitz

    Tesla is just keeping fabricating false stories: when someone points its making false claim, Tesla makes another new glamous claim, and on-and-on. Thus Tesla’s strategy is to want readers and public pay their attention to the most current story instead of the past false ones.

  • kdawg

    Please list all of the “false” stories.

  • Hawt Shiz

    Where would you even start? There are SO MANY!

  • Robby G

    Sure they did. They clearly said, a 5 is a 5 is a 5. There is no such thing as a 5.4.

  • jeffhre

    How about starting with one…

  • jeffhre

    Did they say there is no such thing as a 5.4, or did they say it’s not the safest car ever?

  • jeffhre

    NHTSA will just have to change the rating system to 6 stars to accommodate these safety advances.

  • WeeFree

    Most automobile review bodies can’t tolerate the image of the internal combustion engine dieing out someday.

  • Robby G

    They said a 5.4 is a 5 and THEREFORE (officially) it’s no safer than any other 5.

  • Claudio Marty

    Tesla is on the right track creating cars of the future today & the kinks will be worked out eventually. Ford also has gone through this evolution as well as all other car companies. I’m a proud Ford Cmax owner…

  • Claudio Marty

    1oo% true….

  • danwat1234

    Tesla is the safest car ever, or close to it. 4700 pounds for one thing, huge crumple zones for another and a rigid side.

  • TJ Barlow

    From the third sentence of Tesla’s Press Release:
    “NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5, however safety levels better than 5 stars are captured in the overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars.”

    The NHTSA states that the agency, “does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the star rating categories.”

    Which seems to simply reiterate Tesla’s original statement that the “NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5″

    Which is NOT the same as “Tesla Model S is NOT the Safest Car Ever, Say Feds”

    Tesla has published the raw data related to those tests and compared them to their competition. Something the NHTSA does not do beyond simply reporting stars. Where is the story/problem/controversy? Can I “Dis-Like” this page for blatantly trolling for story clicks?

  • Ziv Bnd

    11, Jeff. Our amps go up to 11!

  • Honest Abe

    How do you like your shitty fuel economy? 47 mpg my butt.

  • Richard Joash Tan