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NHTSA crash tests results/videos

I'm not sure if these have already been posted somewhere on the site, but I came across some of the NHTSA crash testing videos on the Model S. It looks like the rating will be released soon( or already has been released). The Youtube video says that is 5 star crash tested. Seeing those Model S's get hit over and over again was a little painful to see, but also very reassuring.

NHTSA Side Pole Impact
2013 Tesla Model S (All-Electric Plug-In) NHTSA Side Pole Impact (NHTSA Five Star Car) - YouTube

NHTSA Side Impact
2013 Tesla Model S (All-Electric Plug-In) NHTSA Side Impact (NHTSA Five Star Car) - YouTube

NHTSA Frontal Impact
2013 Tesla Model S (All-Electric Plug-In) NHTSA Frontal Impact (NHTSA Five Star Car) - YouTube

Edit: Link to NTHSA page: 2011 & Newer - Search Results | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
(thanks jed-99agie for pointing that out)

Update: August 8th, 2013
MPT: This evening we received a note from Tesla Motors asking for an opportunity to clarify the open question regarding the rear seat, it's certainly welcome:

Tesla and NHTSA confirm that significant lifting of the second row seat pan upon impact as seen in the video of NCAP frontal crash testing is not a normal occurrence on Model S. Instead, this anomaly is due to the placement and installation of sensors, cables, cameras and other test equipment used to document the NCAP testing. During this process, the test facility partially removed the second row seat pan and did not fully reinstall it. This partial removal had no effect whatsoever on NHTSA’s NCAP test results. Normally, under non-testing conditions, the Model S second row seat is locked into place with a series of clips and fasteners. The second row seat pan will not lift in the event of a crash.
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That's great news--the car looks like it held up well. The rear view mirror was dislodged in all of the crash test though (something that didn't happen in a few other videos I watched), but given it doesn't have any sharp edges and most likely won't become much of a projectile, I guess it's not that big of a deal.
that first video was a hellva long drift..... haha i mean ouch...

what ive noticed is the hazards auto turn themselves on, another safety feature? (hopefully i will NEVER EVER test this "safety feature" on my own car)

EDIT: last video, the entire rear bench blew up!!! is that what the recall was about?
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Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2012
Austin, TX
Cf the Chevy Tahoe side pole impact. The pole appears to intrude a long way into the driver space. The Model S seems to roll to spread the damage yet doesn't allow much ingress by the pole.

Looking forward to seeing the side offset test.

I was rear-ended earlier this week. Back seats and mirror stayed put :)


Model S: P 8061
Oct 29, 2010
What was up with the rear bench going to pieces like that?

Did y'all notice the duct tape, etc.? Was it damaged already (do they reuse the same car) or maybe do they disassemble it to install cameras and other measuring devices or something? I'm probably wrong on all counts, but it didn't look like it was really attached much to the car to start with.
The 4-way flashers going off after impact is pretty standard now--- but what about extending the door handles and auto-unlocking? Seems like after a major impact it would be ideal to have the door handles extend so that rescuers (or passersby) would have good leverage to yank a door open. Grabbing a window sill doesn't do anything for unlatching nor leverage.
Holy cow. As a mechanical engineer, that is one unbelivably impressive crash test result. Built like a tank indeed.

As for the rear seat in the frontal collision test, I think they were just concerned with the front driver/passenger. Maybe the rear seats were modified for test equipment?

- - - Updated - - -

I believe the first car to get this was actually the new Camarro? If memory serves me right...

Yes, the Model S is not the first. But I bet it turns out to be the best among all 5-star rated cars. Probably can't beat that big battery pack in the floor of the car!

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