• NHTSA Gives the 2019 Tesla Model 3 a Five-Star Safety Rating

Good going, Tesla

The Tesla Model 3 has passed the NHTSA test with flying colors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tested the rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3, and the car has scored a five-star rating across all the categories. This is not something new for Elon Musk’s company, though, as all Tesla cars previously have done the same.

That’s Some Enviable Streak

The Model 3’s rating is published right after the Chevrolet Bolt was evaluated. Even though the Bolt scored an overall five-star rating, it actually missed out the full score in a few subcategories.

In 2013, the Model S scored an impossible 5.4-stars; which prompted the NHTSA to revise its guidelines so that automakers can’t market their cars based on the fact that they scored better than possible ratings.

The crash test’s subcategories include frontal, side, and rollover crash ratings. For some categories, Tesla made scoring full marks seem like a piece of cake. For instance, Rollover resistance was a breeze since the Model 3’s batteries are sandwiched low into Tesla’s chassis design.

Good News For The Automaker

Fortunately for Tesla, the test doesn’t include any evaluation of Tesla’s driver assistance package, Autopilot. The safety agency has not set up any test for something like Autopilot. The closest thing it has to an evaluation program is targeted at companies working on more advanced semi-autonomous technology. It’s voluntary, and so far, just GM, Waymo, Ford, and Nuro have submitted their reports.

This rating will bring some relief for Tesla, who is in the middle of an investigation whether the Autopilot system caused the crash earlier this year where the driver broke her ankle.

Previously, the NHTSA cleared Tesla of the Autopilot death case when the car crashed into a tractor-trailer in 2016. After being in the middle of constant controversy and issues for as long as we can remember, are these signs of good times for Tesla? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further reading

2018 Tesla Model 3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 727971

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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