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How can Model 3 already have 5-star NHTSA ratings?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by tinm, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    Elon very clearly asserted last night that the Model 3 has 5-star safety ratings.

    But the production car isn't even built yet. Surely NHTSA didn't rate yet.

    Now, admittedly Elon didn't name NHTSA, but he did say 5 star ratings, and anyone half paying attention regarding Tesla over the past 2-3 years knows Elon means NHTSA. And if you look on the Model 3 page of the Tesla website right now, it shows this:

    5star.jpg

    How can they be certain? What happens if they get 4 stars? I assume 5 stars is an "aspirational" goal of Elon's, but surely it isn't exactly true yet?
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I wonder if it is computer modeling.
     
  3. proven

    proven Member

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    I'm pretty sure he said they expect it to get 5 stars. Even the Model X hasn't been tested by the NHTSA yet but their internal testing shows it at 5 stars in all categories.
     
  4. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    "The Model 3 will not just be 5 star in average, it will be 5 star in every category"
    - Elon Musk, last night at the Model 3 event. Video (at bottom of page) at the 10:00 mark.
     
  5. proven

    proven Member

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    "will be" is a lot different than "has"
     
  6. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Elon is making a prediction rather than saying they already have it. They know what the criteria is for a 5 star rating in every category and they are engineering towards those criteria.
     
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  7. ucmndd

    ucmndd Member

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    He said it will. Not that it does.
     
  8. ken830

    ken830 Model S (Res#P12,447)

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    This is not some test or job interview where you walk in not knowing what questions will be asked. The tests are documented and precise so that you can design and test your products with a known test procedure. And why would we doubt Tesla? The Model S already achieved this.
     
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  9. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    Fine, if you want to split hairs. But the Model 3 page doesn't say "will" it just shows a fact of 5-stars.

    I am confident they'll achieve it, I just don't want them jinxing it. Heck, put it this way. If a non-Tesla-friendly candidate gets elected President in November, there could be a new head of NHTSA next year, someone friendly with, say, the Kochs, and willing to be "influenced" above or below the table to give Tesla a less than 5-star rating. :)
     
  10. AC238

    AC238 Member

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    Easy: design it with the same principles as the Model S

    Many automakers are achieving safety ratings across their model range (Subaru , anyone?) using one platform modified for several cars.
     
  11. Yuri_G

    Yuri_G Member

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    I recall from the X reveal that they were approaching what would be the 6th star in probability of passenger injury. If Tesla is shooting for that with the 3 it would be easy to say it will achieve 5 stars with confidence.
     
  12. Subhuman

    Subhuman Member

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    When they tested the Model S it actually broke the roof crushing machine....I think they will figure it out just fine. ;)
     
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  13. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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  14. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Other car companies "engineer" to the testing standards. If you check out the Model S testing, you will see that Model S surpassed the standards, in every category. And even in places where there were no standards, they excel.
    Other brands' ratings dropped when, all of a sudden, NHTSA started doing testing from a different angle than before, and everybody scrambled to re"engineer" the cars. Except Tesla.
    And computer modeling is pretty exact. They know they can pass all the standards and any new tests some people haven't even thought of yet.
     
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  15. BravoSarah

    BravoSarah Member

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    He promised that it will have, not that it does.
     
  16. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    This is true to some extent, but it also worried me a bit that IIHS offered to test the Model S if Tesla petitioned them to do so, and Tesla declined. Part of that was, I'm sure, a hedge against losing their NHTSA rating marketing being the "highest rated car ever." On the other hand, I kind of wonder if they had some idea that the car only performed OK, not great, in the small overlap frontal test... a new test that many modern vehicles have failed, which the NHTSA doesn't test, and which Tesla may not have designed to. So I think it's hard to justify a claim that the Model S surpassed the standards in every category when, to this day, it hasn't been tested in every category.
     
  17. ggnykk

    ggnykk Active Member

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    Computer simulation in crash testing is extremely sophisticated nowadays. You don't need to crash real car to know with very high certainty that it can reach certain star rating.

    Plus, the same team has been designing 5-star cars for years, they know exacting where to reinforce and how they design the structure to achieve this.
     
  18. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    I suspect they have tested real prototype body-in-white structures and thus are confident that it will get 5-stars.
     

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