NHTSA: Tesla Model 3 Gets Five-Star Safety Rating in All Categories

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Model 3 the maximum score in all types of crashes.

James Lipman/Tesla

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its crash test results for the Tesla Model 3, awarding the electric sedan a five-star safety rating in every tested scenario.

Crash tests include a simulated 35-miles per hour frontal impact, a 38.5-mph side barrier impact, a side pole impact, and a rollover test. In each scenario, the Model 3 performed to the NHTSA's highest standards, earning its comprehensive five-star rating. Additionally, the vehicle features all four of the NHTSA's recommended safety technologies as standard, including forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, crash imminent braking, and lane departure warning. Reuters reports a 1.7 percent rise in TSLA stocks on the day of the announcement.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Previous Tesla models such as the Model X crossover and Model S sedan have received equal ratings from the NHTSA. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performed its own crash testing on both vehicles, conflicting with the NHTSA's result for the Model S, which the IIHS gave only an "adequate" rating. Tesla decried the rating, praising the NHTSA's testing methodologies, though it didn't hesitate to praise the IIHS's strong ratings of its Model X.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Tesla Model 3s flunked the IIHS's automatic braking test, which involves driving a vehicle toward a stationary target at 31 mph. With its "Autopilot" automated driving assist system inactive, both failed, colliding with the target, but both vehicles outperformed their luxury sedan competitors when the system was on.

The NHTSA doesn't list any recalls or complaints regarding the Model 3 on its website, but may need to check with one customer who received their car with mismatched door panels. However, because this is a cosmetic issue rather than a safety issue, it may not be the NHTSA's forte.

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