Tesla's Model S sedan has won a five-star safety rating in every testing category across the board, a distinction awarded to just one percent of all vehicles tested by US safety regulators.
Tesla said in a release issued late on Monday the battery-powered Model S had set a record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants. Tesla, based in Silicon Valley, California and led by South African-born billionaire Elon Musk, said the Model S had exceeded the safety score of all sport-utility vehicles and minivans tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A spokeswoman for NHTSA could not be reached for comment.
Tesla said NHTSA tested for the probability of injury from front, side, rear and rollover accidents.
The Model S does not have a front-mounted engine block, giving it a longer “crumple zone” that allows the vehicle to absorb high-speed impacts better than most petrol powered rivals, the company said, while a machine used in the roof-crush test broke while attempting to cave in the roof of the Model S test car.
The Model S is the best-selling US electric car despite a starting price of $70 000 (R711 000) before a federal tax credit. Tesla sold 5150 cars in the second quarter of 2013 and expects to sell 21 000 this year. - Reuters