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Resolved: second row crash test doubts

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Cutwolf, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    #1 Cutwolf, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2013
    [Moderator Note: This discussion was split off from here - NHTSA crash tests results/videos]

    Look at the front crash test video at about 1:02, the angle inside the car that goes fuzzy for a second. It's clearly the bottom part of the rear seat (no backrest).

    Now, if it was just equipment, or due to modifications, then you would expect it to be a fairly common occurrence in these crash test videos. But it's not. The Model S is the only crash test video that I can find where this happens.

    And that scares the hell out of me as a prospective Model S owner who would have important human cargo in the backseat with regularity.
     
  2. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    But with all that duct tape and stuff clearly it's been modified. I'd find out more before being scared the hell. The Model S's back seat isn't held together with duct tape.
     
  3. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    So why does it only happen in the Model S crash testing video?

    You'd assume similar equipment and modifications would be made to other sedans before testing, and none of them have this problem.
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I did get the duct tape option though.

    C'mon of course the car wouldn't get 5 stars if the back seat came flying like that in an unmodified car. The NTHSA are the experts. We are just throwing out random observations.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I saw that as well, but I think it's important to note that the seat belts are bolted to the same frame that the seats are attached to, and so if a passenger or child seat were properly belted in, there shouldn't be an issue.
     
  6. Gear

    Gear Member

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    That's what I'm saying. The NHTSA will have been analyzing the data and video from this for days, likely, before ever agreeing to give it 5 stars on every test. I doubt seeing something as large as that coming dislodged in the crash would have made it through the analysis process without somebody asking the question unless they already knew it would happen, such as if they had modified it for some reason. Clearly it was modified with all that wiring and tape everywhere and with no backrest.
     
  7. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    The 5 star safety ratings do not take this into account.

    From the FAQ:



    http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Shoppers/5-Star+FAQ#thirteen

    In other words, the backseat could explode, light on fire, call down hellfire from the Heavens, and go full on mushroom cloud but as long as the front two passengers' injuries qualified for a 5 star rating, it would get a 5 star rating.
     
  8. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The back seat looks like it has been pulled out to run wires for equipment from the front to the back of the car. I don't think much of that seat movement. And the NTSHA did not give it a down-rating so maybe they also know that it is their fault it came loose.

    And

    ... if someone was sitting it with a seatbelt on, nothing would change.

    And

    Tesla had a recent recall of the backseat clip. This could have been after seeing this video.
     
  9. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    This. Often parts of the car uninvolved with the particular test have to be modified or removed to accommodate the test gear. They forgot to re-secure the seat bottom is all. It's not worth making a big deal over.
     
  10. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    My posts aren't coming through because a moderator has to approve them?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, now they work.

    Backseat safety would not affect a 5 star front crash test rating.

    From the 5 star rating faq:

    The frontal crash rating is an evaluation of injury to the head, neck, chest, and femur (legs) for the driver and right front seat passenger. Since the frontal crash test reflects a crash between two similar vehicles, only vehicles from the same weight class, plus or minus 250 pounds, can be compared when looking at frontal crash ratings.

    ---

    In other words, it only looks at injuries to the front passengers, nothing else.

    And I'm not doctor, but if I'm bolted down to a frame, and the part underneath me is desperately trying to come close, I might be alright if I'm heavy, but the lighter I am (child?) the more I'm going to be jarred upward/forward by the seat detaching with that much force.
     
  11. Alexander

    Alexander P# 8,878

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    I noticed that too, but assumed they detached the seat to run those cables. It looks like they have some kind of equipment on the center console and the cables for that equipment were running under the back seat.
     
  12. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    My only concern with this train of thought is that there's no other car crash test videos where this happens. Why is the Model S unique in that regard?
     
  13. GlennAlanBerry

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    @Cutwolf: How would it have gotten a Five-star test rating in every category if the actual rear seat came flying loose in an impact? There have been a number of pretty severe real-world collisions involving Model S vehicles with no reports of anything like that happening. Elon puts his kids in his Model S on a regular basis, do you think he would accept a fundamental flaw like that?

    Are you an automotive safety engineer?
     
  14. Alexander

    Alexander P# 8,878

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    Your new to the forums. I think the moderator has to approve it because the media, investors, and even Tesla Motors themselves, read everything that's posted here. People have used that fact for nefarious purposes in the past.

    Please don't take offense, welcome to the forums!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Only the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety could answer that, lol
     
  15. Gear

    Gear Member

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    Could be. Tesla claimed somebody on the assembly line noticed it and raised the red flag though.
     
  16. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Crash Test 101 - Understanding tests and ratings

    Perhaps best to understand the crash test ratings before panicking.
     
  17. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    I am not an automotive safety engineer, but I am a prospective Model S owner and enthusiast and I'd like to have answers to these questions before I go convince my SO that this is a good option for us.

    I will clarify my thoughts and responses here:

    1. To the argument that the vehicle would not have gotten 5 star front rating if the rear seat came detached: this is not true. Front ratings only take into account injuries to the front two passengers, NOT rear passengers. Thus, nothing that happens in the backseat has any impact on the front crash ratings as they're currently done.

    2. To the argument that it was probably modified: perhaps, but why does this not happen with any other vehicle? It's fair to assume the modification and equipment used would be the same, so why does that cause ONLY the Model S' seat to fly forward?

    3. While the side test rear passenger rating is 5 star -- and this is great news -- a side impact doesn't produce the same force on the backseat as the front test. Thus, while it may not have detached in the side test, it may have in the front.

    That Elon puts his kids in the Model S on a regular basis is a fallacious argument.

    Look, I get how quick we all want to defend or excuse the Model S. And maybe you're all right. In fact, I hope you are, because I really want one.

    But right now, we have a 5 star rating that does not take into account rear safety, and a video of that rating showing the seat detaching and flying forward. This is not speculation.

    What's speculation is why this happened. Someone -- whether the NHTSB or someone at Tesla -- needs to clarify what we're seeing.
     
  18. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    My friend, perhaps you should take your own advice.

    From the link you provided:



    It only takes measurements of injuries to front passengers. Rear happenings have nothing to do with that rating unless those rear happenings cause injury to the front passengers.

    The IIHS has not rated the Tesla.
     
  19. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    i thought that was the Roadster? :wink:

    Perhaps this is why they did not care that the rear seat was secured? You're asking questions that no one here can answer to your satisfaction (or seems to be that concerned over -- myself included, as a paranoid father who has a child and wife in the rear seat daily). Send an email to Tesla or NHTSA.
     
  20. Cutwolf

    Cutwolf Member

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    One quick addition:

    The Model S was tested on 7/22/13.

    The Model S recall was 6/19/13.

    I don't know how recalls work with cars provided to government bodies for testing, but these tests happened nearly a month after the rear seat safety recall.

    That's also worrying.

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    I will reach out to both, and on the off chance I get a response from either, I will let you know.
     

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