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Roof Strength - Model S vs Chevy Bolt

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by MS16, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    Remember when Musk claimed the roof of the Model S was so strong that it broke the testing machine, suggesting it's roof was unusually strong? Well, it turns out reality is a little different.

    The recent IIHS test of the Chevy Bolt shows that the Bolt's roof has a strength-to-weight ratio of 5.74 while the Model S in it's lightest S60 form has a ratio of only 4.33. The heavier S models score worse, with the 100D being rated only "acceptable".

    Even more interesting, the lighter Bolt can withstand a peak force of 20,042 pounds compared to 19,271 for the Model S.

    2017 Chevrolet Bolt

    2017 Tesla Model S

    The Bolt received the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, the first and only BEV on the list.
     
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  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Elon's claim was correct at the time.
     
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  3. JHWJR

    JHWJR Member

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  4. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    I studied MS16's post history, and a substantial number of their posts consist of replying to people who have issues with their Model S and saying they have the problem too.

    MS16 also does little more than post negative things about Tesla.

    While this is suspicious to me and could reasonably be inferred as trolling, it is impossible to say for sure. MS16 may simply be a customer who has had extraordinarily bad experiences. I'd like to know if MS16 has reached out to @JonMc to have their alleged issues resolved.
     
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  5. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Thanks.
    Peak roof strength is always the first thing I look for in a vehicle.
     
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  6. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    How do you figure? The Model S roof strength was not anything special at the time, yet Musk still suggested it was something exceptional.

    What actually happened with the S was the machine broke during the NHTSA test, but not because the roof was so strong, the machine just happened to break. Mush turned that into something it wasn't.

    Once IIHS ran the same test, the results showed that not only was the roof strength of the S not exceptional, it was actually inferior to many other cars. The heavier 100D is only rated "acceptable".

    The point is, Tesla's hype often gets way ahead of reality and they rarely get called on it.
     
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  7. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    What are the use cases for the need of roof strength? Car flips over being the most common? We know that is rare for the S or even the taller X because of how low the heavy battery is.
    This may be an issue on a taller and smaller car.
     
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  8. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    #9 MS16, Jun 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
    QUOTE="JHWJR, post: 2159406, member: 57482"]Actually, it was the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that conducted the test, and it broke their machine, as reported in Road and Track. The reality was exactly what was reported. Go troll somewhere else.


    Tesla Model S Breaks the NHTSA Crash-Test Scale - Tesla Model S Crash-Test Videos[/QUOTE]

    It was a third party contractor who tested the roof and not NHTSA. The car did not break the machine, the machine broke while testing the car, there is a difference.

    If I tested a Yugo on a dynamometer and the machine broke while testing it, can I rightfully claim that the Yugo has so much power it broke the machine! Or, is it more correct to say that the machine just broke, regardless of how much power the Yugo had.

    It wasn't until IIHS tested the Model S that we found out the what really happened. We found out the following:

    The Model S roof strength is unremarkable, even in the lightest S60 version
    Heavier Model Ss did not get a top score in roof strength
    The Model S did not get a Top Score in over all safety

    The point is whether it's EAP performance, safety ratings, or lots of other examples, it pays to be cautious about what Tesla says. There's usually less than meets the eye.
     
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  10. Russell

    Russell Member

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    #10 Russell, Jun 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
    That claim was made in August 2013.
    Tell us what cars from 2013 had stronger roofs?


    The machine broke at 4g.
    Again, tell us what cars from 2013 had stronger roofs?

    "Rollover risk was rated at just 5.7 percent--"refusing to turn over via the normal methods and special means were needed to induce the car to roll"--a successful rating attributed to the Model S's low center of gravity. Tesla's own independent testing has shown the car's rollover strength to be incredibly high, too--breaking the test machine at 4g."
    Tesla Models S Gets Highest Safety-Test Score Ever Awarded By NHTSA
     
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  11. Zoomit

    Zoomit Member

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    Ford C-MAX, 24,462 lb, just as an example.

    IMG_0853.PNG
     
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  12. Russell

    Russell Member

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    #12 Russell, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
    Close but no cigar.

    When Tesla made the claim in 2013 it was the strongest roof.
    The C-max tested was a 2014 model so more than likely it was tested way after the Model S was.
     
  13. Zoomit

    Zoomit Member

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    ?? The C-MAX came out in the fall of '12 in the US and a few years earlier in the EU. Who cares when it was tested? It's ~25% stronger than the Model S.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other cars "tested in '13 or before" that are stronger than the Model S but I am certainly too lazy to look them up.
     
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  14. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    It's simply awesome what finite element modeling, engineering prowess, and materials developments are doing to increase the strength of the safety cages of our cars, and our survive-ability in them. I don't recall this being talked about much before Tesla came along with its "roof crushing machine killer" story...(great marketing story to their credit)! I do recall pickup trucks being talked about as almost certain death traps should they roll because of weak roof structure, and their propensity to roll is high due to raised center of gravity. I do recall watching cringe-worthy slow motion crash tests of circa '50 and '60 and '70's cars that literally fold up like accordioned tinfoil packages when they hit.. WITH NO SEAT BELTS.
     
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  15. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    A partial list of cars in 2013 that had roof test results that equaled or exceeded the Model S roof strength at the time of Musk claim are located here 2013 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKs


    Minicars
     
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  16. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #16 McRat, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
    And yet auto deaths are on the rise now. The strongest cars, with the best technology, now have the worst drivers. We are even working on systems to assist distracted and drunk drivers to keep the body count up.

    But no, both Volvo and Mercedes-Benz had major We Are Safest marketing campaigns before Tesla made a car.
     
  17. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    When Tesla made the claim in 2013, it was no where near the strongest roof, that's the point of the thread.

    For example, the Mercedes C-Class earned a 5.36 in 2008 when this test first started.
     
  18. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    This is incorrect.

    You are confusing absolute strength with strength to weight ratio. Not all the cars on this list have stronger roofs.

    It is true that many cars do exceed the Model S' roof strength to weight ratio, which is what this list reflects.

    Roof strength must also be considered against probability of rollover of the vehicle.

    HTH.
     
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  19. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    What is incorrect? The fact that a 2010 Mercedes E-Class has a stronger roof than a Model S and Tesla still claimed in 2013 that the Model S roof is so exceptionally strong that it broke the machine? Regardless, Musk's claim was made in reference to the 4x strength to weight ratio.

    2010 Mercedes E-Class

    Peak force 20,961 lbs
    Strength-to-weight ratio 5.40


    2016 Tesla Model S

    Peak force 19,271 lbs
    Strength-to-weight ratio 4.33
     
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  20. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    #20 anticitizen13.7, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
    Insurance loss information

    Real world loss/casualty data shows that for 2013-2015 RWD Tesla Model S, personal injury and medical payment costs are 61% and 54% better than average.

    This compares favorably with the BMW 5-Series RWD at 27 and 4 better than average, and Mercedes Benz E-class at 18% better and 11% worse in those same categories. AWD data was not available for the Model S in that time frame.

    Harping on one stat is pointless.

    Consumers should look at a broad range of safety stats.
     
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