It was big news a month ago when the 2014 Chevy Impala received a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but apparently this is a summer that continually needs to top itself as the Tesla Model S has earned an unprecedented 5.4-star NHTSA safety rating.
Earlier this week, the NHTSA announced that the Tesla Model S had earned a 5.4-star safety rating, making it the highest rated vehicle overall including sedans, SUVs, and minivans. According to a press release from Tesla, the Model S was designed to withstand every test thrown its way from its longer crumple zone in the front impact to the deep aluminum extrusions in the side rail of the car for the side pole intrusion test. Designers also placed the battery pack in the floor pan, improving its performance in the rollover test, and if the buyer orders the optional third row seat, there is a double bumper installed in the vehicle.
What really blew our minds while reading the press release from Tesla, however, was their recap of the roof crush protection test. During the test, the testing machine broke down. This machine is built to put vehicles through their paces and help automakers make them safer, and it gave out while testing the Model S. While some people might call that just a happy coincidence for Tesla, the people monitoring the test measured that four Tesla Model S vehicles could be stacked on top of a Model S, and the roof would not cave in. When a car performs that well in all its tests, it deserves to earn a more-than-perfect 5.4-star rating.
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