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NHTSA Gives the Model S Best Safety Rating of Any Car In History 627

Posted by timothy
from the still-betting-on-the-mack-truck dept.
cartechboy writes "Even crashing into a wall is good news nowadays for Tesla Motors. Independent testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the company a 5-star safety rating, not just overall, but in every subcategory. While its five-star score across the board has been attained by other vehicles (around one percent of all cars tested are capable of such a score) its ratings in individual categories are higher than any other vehicle, including larger SUVs and minivans. What's really interesting is that part of the safety rating may be because the car is electric."
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NHTSA Gives the Model S Best Safety Rating of Any Car In History

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  • Five Star (Score:5, Funny)

    by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:53PM (#44620219) Journal
    Five star safety rating across the board. Excellent! Now if only it didn't come with a five star price tag
    • You invent a cheaper rechargeable battery that matches LiIon on energy density, and congratulations, you've reduced the price of a model S.

    • Re:Five Star (Score:4, Informative)

      by patniemeyer (444913) <pat@pat.net> on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:05PM (#44620427) Homepage

      The Model S starts in the $60k range and for many people who finance and factor in the gas savings monthly the payments are equivalent to that of more reasonably priced car right out the door. Also Tesla has stated that they are planning a more mass market mid-priced car in 2-3 years.

    • Re:Five Star (Score:5, Informative)

      by Loki_1929 (550940) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:15PM (#44620599) Journal

      They're working toward that. Iteration 1 was a $110,000 sports car. Iteration 2 is a $60,000 sedan. Iteration 3 is an SUV. Iteration 4 is aiming for a $30,000 every-man's car.

    • Re:Five Star (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:40PM (#44620997) Homepage

      Five star safety rating across the board. Excellent! Now if only it didn't come with a five star price tag

      And are you of the opinion that improvements in safety haven't always come in on the high end first and then trickle down?

      Airbags. ABS. That 3rd eye brake-light. Tire pressure sensors. Probably even more -- all of these things appeared first in higher-end cars and then made their way down to the rest of the models.

      If anything, I expect a car at that price point to have more engineering and safety features in it. You don't just start out putting everything into the cheapest cars on the market.

      • Re:Five Star (Score:4, Informative)

        by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @02:43PM (#44621931)

        Five star safety rating across the board. Excellent! Now if only it didn't come with a five star price tag

        And are you of the opinion that improvements in safety haven't always come in on the high end first and then trickle down?

        Airbags. ABS. That 3rd eye brake-light. Tire pressure sensors. Probably even more -- all of these things appeared first in higher-end cars and then made their way down to the rest of the models.

        Interestingly, many of those safety innovations were developed by Mercedes [mbusa.com]:

        • 1951 The crumple zone
        • 1963 Dual-circuit braking system
        • 1971 A patent for the air bag
        • 1978 Antilock Braking System (ABS)
        • 1984 Seat-belt Emergency Tensioning Devices (ETDs)
        • 1985 Electronic traction control
        • 1989 Convertible with pop-up roll bar
        • 1995 Electronic Stability Program (ESP®)
        • 1995 Seat-belt force limiters
        • 1996 Emergency-sensing Brake Assist
        • 1997 Automatic child-seat recognition
        • 1998 Side curtain air bags
        • 2002 PRE-SAFE®
        • 2005 Night View Assist
        • 2006 DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Brake
        • 2009 Adaptive Highbeam Assist
        • 2009 ATTENTION ASSIST
        • 2010 Active Blind Spot Assist
        • 2010 Active Lane Keeping Assist
      • Re:Five Star (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent...jan...goh@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @02:45PM (#44621961) Homepage

        A lot of stuff actually appears in racing cars first, and trickles down to high-end cars, then down to every day cars. DSG-type transmissions (the so-called 'flappy-paddle gearbox') were an F1 technology first, I believe.

        My 6-year-old VW Jetta is more technologically advanced than a Merc from the 90s, but it's BECAUSE someone paid for a Merc in the 90s that I can have a VW that's such a good vehicle.

        Good for Tesla. This is how you change an industry.

  • Still A Toy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @12:54PM (#44620235) Homepage Journal

    Don't get me wrong, the numbers are quite impressive - especially the following passage from TFA:

    And just how strong is the Model S’s roof, which is secured with aerospace-grade bolts? It broke a testing machine that was pushing down on the roof with the equivalent of the weight of four cars.

    ... Damn, yo.

    However, at a price point of $80 - 100K, it's going to remain a playtoy for people with money, not become the OMG super-car replacement for mom's $30K Volvo.

    • Re:Still A Toy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Metabolife (961249) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:03PM (#44620383)
      Kind of how the Mercedes S class, BMW 7 series, Audio A7/A8, and any other large luxury car is a plaything for the wealthy?
    • Re:Still A Toy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquietNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:14PM (#44620585) Journal

      However, at a price point of $80 - 100K, it's going to remain a playtoy for people with money, not become the OMG super-car replacement for mom's $30K Volvo.

      True, but it is the norm for the expensive, novel safety features of today's luxury cars to become standard on econoboxes a few years down the road. Airbags (front, then side), antilock brakes, traction control, etc. have all migrated down the market. You can bet that - particularly among carmakers whose reputations rely on safety as a marketing tool, like Volvo - there will be engineers very closely scrutinizing this car for design features that can be adapted or stolen.

      More important, some of the safety benefits are pretty much inherent to the electric design. Not needing to allow for a big, solid metal engine block means that the front crumple zone can be engineered more effectively. Having heavy battery packs under the floor of the vehicle makes rollovers much more difficult. These types of benefits will be accessible to any electric design, not just the $80,000 ones.

    • by Loki_1929 (550940)

      $60,000.

      As for it being a playtoy for people with money, I supposed that'd be just like Audi, BMW, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Porsche, Shelby, and everyone else who aims for that higher end of the market.

      Per Forbes, the average price of a new car is over $30,000 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2012/05/10/average-price-of-a-new-car/). Considering the number of cars selling for $12,000 - $15,000 new, that average is factoring in a lot of cars well over $30,000.

      This isn't a toy for the rich and it isn't a

    • Actually, if you had taken that $30k for the Volvo and instead invested in Tesla stock, you could now afford a Tesla and keep your original $30k investment.

      It's amusing to think about: By letting Tesla borrow $30k for a few months, they reward you with one of their cars.

      Which happens to also (statisitically speaking) increase your lifespan by reducing the odds that you'll die in a car accident.

    • Re:Still A Toy (Score:4, Informative)

      by tgd (2822) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:57PM (#44621249)

      Don't get me wrong, the numbers are quite impressive - especially the following passage from TFA:

      And just how strong is the Model S’s roof, which is secured with aerospace-grade bolts? It broke a testing machine that was pushing down on the roof with the equivalent of the weight of four cars.

      ... Damn, yo.

      However, at a price point of $80 - 100K, it's going to remain a playtoy for people with money, not become the OMG super-car replacement for mom's $30K Volvo.

      $30k Volvo? Have you priced new cars in the last ten years? The cheapest bottom-of-the-line Volvo lists at $32k, and they skyrocket from there.

      Inflation has been a bitch with most car lines. A roughly comparably priced Volvo (S80) with "normal" options is $50k, and is vastly less well equipped.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:45PM (#44621077) Homepage Journal

    During one of the presidential debates, Mitt Romney named Tesla a failure, and claimed that the loan given to Tesla by the DOE was a waste of taxpayer money. This drove the stock down to $25 per share. I wish I'd bought then, because that stock is now around $140 per share, and climbing.

  • 4 Cars? (Score:5, Funny)

    by JackSpratts (660957) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @01:55PM (#44621225) Homepage

    "And just how strong is the Model S roof, which is secured with aerospace-grade bolts? It broke a testing machine that was pushing down on the roof with the equivalent of the weight of four cars."

    Four cars? Pshaw. Forty years ago my Volvo could bench press 6.

    http://imgur.com/kmdoVYR [imgur.com]

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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