Tesla Model X Gets 5 Stars In NHTSA Crash Test

There is something ghoulishly enjoyable about watching crash tests. It’s the same voyeuristic instinct that makes uys slow down and look at the scene of an accident on the highway. If crash test videos give us a secret thrill, the footage from the recent Tesla Model X demolition derby is a treasure trove of delight. It’s not every day we get to see $100,000 vehicles smashed to smithereens right before our eyes!

Tesla Model X crash test

As Elon Musk promised last year, the Tesla Model X passed all the NHTSA crash tests with flying colors. It got a 5 star rating in all three test procedures and 5 stars overall. NHTSA tested 5 versions of the car — 60D, 75D, 90D, P90D, and P100D.  The 60 kWh and 90 kWh battery choices have been discontinued. Here’s what Tesla had to say after the results were released in a blog post. The official report from NHTSA is also available online.

Tesla Model X the First SUV Ever to Achieve 5-Star Crash Rating in Every Category

The Tesla Team June 13, 2017

We engineered Model X to be the safest SUV ever, and today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that after conducting independent testing, it has awarded Model X a 5-star safety rating in every category and sub-category, making it the first SUV ever to earn the 5-star rating across the board. More than just resulting in a 5-star rating, the data from NHTSA’s testing shows that Model X has the lowest probability of injury of any SUV it has ever tested. In fact, of all the cars NHTSA has ever tested, Model X’s overall probability of injury was second only to Model S.

Model X performs so much better in a crash than gas-powered SUVs because of its all-electric architecture and powertrain design. The rigid, fortified battery pack that powers Model X is mounted beneath the floor of the vehicle creating a center of gravity so low that Model X has the lowest rollover probability of any SUV on the road. No other SUV has ever come close to meeting and exceeding this rollover requirement.

NHTSA’s tests assess both the structure of the vehicle, which must minimize intrusion into the cabin and absorb as much energy as possible, and also the seatbelt and airbag restraint system, which must maximize injury mitigation in the event of a crash. Among the nine subcategories rated by NHTSA, including frontal impact, side impact, and pole impact tests conducted on both the driver and passenger side as well as the rollover test, Model X achieved 5-stars in every category and sub-category. That means that in the event of a serious crash, Model X occupants have an overall 93% probability of walking away without a serious injury – a testament to our commitment to building the safest cars on today’s roads.

Okay. You have been very good to wait this long and read this far. Here’s what you have been waiting for. First, the front barrier test.

Next, the side impact test that simulates what happens if you get T boned at an intersection.

And now the sideways on ice into a telephone pole test.

There is no video available of the rollover test procedure. All videos were uploaded to YouTube by CrashNet1.

Notice that NHTSA does not conduct the partial offset front collision test. That is done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but there is every reason to believe the Model X will ace that one as well.



Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.