Tesla Model S Named Safest CarApril 28, 2016
We’re hardly ever surprised when a luxury car receives awards for safety. European luxury cars are especially well known for their safety ratings and crash test results. The increasingly famous Tesla Model S, the American-made electric car which has been receiving rave reviews from Car and Driver and Consumer Reports, now has a top safety rating to further back up the hype. Unfortunately, the Tesla press release which announced the results weren’t exactly truthful.
Tesla Model S Receives “The Best Safety Rating of Any Car Ever Tested…”
That is an extreme statement in and of itself, which should (and did) tip off critics. This statement, which was tweeted by Tesla founder Elon Musk, wasn’t entirely false. The Tesla Model S was the highest rated vehicle for safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, beating out other popular electric cars such as the Toyota Prius which just barely missed the same perfect five-star rating itself.
The real drama lies in the objectively false follow-up statement made by Elon Musk, which states that the Tesla Model S received a rating of “5.4 stars overall”. A statement issued by the NHTSA clarifies that such a rating would be impossible to achieve as the agency only rates to a maximum of five stars and does not rank vehicles by safety rating, it merely tests and rates the vehicles.
While the overblown statement by Musk casts a bit of a shadow over the outstanding rating earned by the Tesla Model S, it’s worth noting that this is one of the safest cars that’s ever been built – but it isn’t the only one. For the 2014 model year, other luxury cars that received 5-star crash test ratings across the board include Audi’s A4 and S4, the Cadillac ATS, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Honda Accord 2DR to name just a few.
Why the Tesla Model S Safety Rating Matters
If all of these other cars earned equally notable safety ratings, why are we making a big deal about the Tesla Model S? Tesla Motors is an unknown when it comes to car manufacturers in the US. They’re out to change the rules. They don’t use the dealership sales model, they sell directly to consumers. They’re making high-end electric cars that are changing the American perception of what an electric car is and could be. They’ve started with making an incredibly expensive, but alluring luxury sports car that can compete with well-established brands such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus. The company needs good PR to keep up steam as they move from the top down. Tesla Motors has already announced that they are now working on producing a more widely-accessible electric car that will offer sleek design and fine-tuned engineering at a price that the average American can afford. The safety rating issued by the NHTSA further supports Tesla Motors’ statements regarding the safety and quality of their vehicles.
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