Image: Euro NCAP
Tesla Model S received 5 stars in the Euro NCAP safety rating. The car received the highest overall score among all vehicles tested under this protocol.
Upon its release in 2012, Model S set the standard for Tesla vehicle safety. The car had a rigid safety cell, large front and rear crumple zones, and a fortified battery pack. In 2014, the Model S became the only car to receive 5 stars in the Euro NCAP rating and 5 stars in all NHTSA categories. This is possible because the company is simultaneously developing passive and active safety systems, creating an architecture aimed at both reducing the consequences of an accident and helping to avoid it.
As with all of its vehicles, since the release of Model S, Tesla has continued to continually improve the car's safety systems. This is partly due to the fact that safety test protocols are rightfully becoming more stringent year over year, but also to the company's relentless pursuit of achieving its goal of making the safest cars on the road. Instead of official yearly releases, Tesla prefers to make safety improvements as soon as they become available, through “updated manufacturing and engineering changes in new vehicles, and through over-the-air updates to existing fleet vehicles.”
With significant safety improvements, in 2021 Tesla released the new Model S. Euro NCAP tested the newly released model again, according to its latest and most stringent 2020-2022 testing protocol, which focused on evaluating the vehicle's ability to protect adults, children and vulnerable road users, as well as its proficiency in crash avoidance and other safety assistance features.
Based on the test results, Tesla Model S again received a 5-star safety rating and the highest overall score of any vehicle tested under this protocol. It also performed exceptionally well in more detailed tests across the board:
- 98% in Safety Assist.
- 91% in Child Occupant Protection.
- 94% in Adult Occupant Protection.
- Maximum points awarded in Far-Side Impact subsection.
- Maximum points awarded in Rescue, Extraction and Post-Crash Safety subsection.
These ratings are in part thanks to new safety features that now come standard in all new Model S vehicles:
- Collision Avoidance Driver Monitoring System: Uses direct monitoring to detect a distracted driver and automatically adjusts the sensitivity of the Forward Collision Warning system to be more reactive.
- Advanced Front-Structure Castings: Using our expertise in large castings, we developed an all-new front structure that absorbs maximum energy and reduces occupant acceleration.
- Automatic Airbag Suppression: Distinguishes between humans and child-seats in the front passenger seat; if a child-seat is detected, the front passenger side airbag is automatically deactivated.
- Far-Side Airbag: Provides additional protection during side impacts, particularly when there are two front occupants. This airbag deploys between the front seats to help prevent head injuries that could be caused by occupant-to-occupant contact.
- Multi-Collision Braking: Automatically activates the vehicle braking system after a collision to help prevent a secondary impact.
- Steering Yoke: The yoke airbag deploys, cushions and restraints the driver without the top section of a traditional steering wheel, while also providing a clear view of the instrument cluster and road ahead. Model S is the first vehicle with a yoke to receive 5 stars from Euro NCAP.
Model S scored 98% in the Euro NCAP 2022 Safety Assist category, which evaluates the effectiveness of software features that help reduce the risk of a crash. This score was achieved with Tesla Vision, a new camera vision and neural-net processing system that now comes standard and free of charge in all Tesla vehicles.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.