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2017 Tesla Model S

Large luxury car
Crashworthiness
  • Small overlap front
  • Driver-side
    A
  • Passenger-side
  • Moderate overlap front
    G
  • Side
    G
  • Roof strength
    G
  • Head restraints & seats
    G

Crash avoidance & Mitigation
Front crash prevention
Crash avoidance rating
Superior

Headlights
P

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)
ease of use
M


Ratings shown are the latest available for this model year.
See below for ratings based on manufacture date.

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The photos and videos shown here may be of a different model, model year or body type from the one selected. The ratings of one vehicle often apply to other models if they are built on the same platform. In addition, a test of a vehicle from one model year may apply to earlier or later model years if the vehicle hasn't been significantly redesigned.

Model year Small overlap front Moderate overlap front Side Roof strength Head restraints & seats Front crash prevention Headlights LATCH ease of use
Driver Passenger
2017
A
G
G
G
G
Crash avoidance rating
Superior
P
M
2016
A
G
G
G
G
Crash avoidance rating
Superior
M
M

Applies to 2017 models built after January 2017

Overall evaluation
A
Structure and safety cage
A
Injury measures
Head/neck
A
Chest
G
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
A
Restraints and dummy kinematics
A
Important: Frontal crash test ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

The Tesla Model S was introduced in the 2012 model year. The car is a plug-in battery-electric vehicle with no gasoline or diesel engine to help power the car. The EPA city and highway values listed below are based on a comparison of the energy content of a kWh of electricity vs. a gallon of gasoline.

Beginning with 2016 models built after September 2016, the side curtain airbags were lengthened to improve occupant protection in small overlap frontal crashes. Later, beginning with 2017 models built after January 2017, the driver seat belt was modified with the intent of reducing driver forward movement in a frontal crash. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Two tests of the Model S were conducted by the Institute on cars built before and after the driver seat belt modification. Because there were no structural changes, the structure rating is based on the tests of both cars, the first a 2016 model and the second a 2017 model.

The small overlap frontal rating of the Model S applies to the 75 and tested 60 variants, but does not apply to higher-performance variants, including the 100 and since-discontinued 90, which have larger batteries.

Structure

The driver space was maintained reasonably well in both tests considered together. Intrusion of the lower interior in the second test measured 28 cm at the lower hinge pillar and 22 cm at the footrest because the left front wheel shattered during the crash, and the brake rotor and caliper assembly split the hinge pillar and penetrated the occupant compartment. Upper interior intrusion measured 2 cm at the hinge pillar and 9-12 cm at the instrument panel. In addition, the left front corner of the high voltage battery case (behind the wheel housing) was damaged by the barrier face in the second test, but the deformation was limited to an area that does not house battery cells.

Injury measures

In the second test, a high head acceleration occurred when the dummy's head hit the steering wheel through the airbag, indicating that head injuries would be possible in a crash of this severity. A similar high head acceleration occurred in the first test. Measures indicate that injuries to the left lower leg also would be possible in the second test. (In the first test, it was the right lower leg that was problematic.)

Restraints and dummy kinematics

In the second test, the dummy’s head contacted the frontal airbag but started to move off the left side because the seat belt allowed excessive forward excursion of the head and torso. The side curtain airbag deployed and has sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects. The side torso airbag also deployed. Dummy head movement and airbag interaction was similar in the first test.

Tested vehicle specifications

Tested vehicle 2017 Tesla Model S 60 4-door
Weight 4,467 lbs.
Side airbags front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags
Wheelbase 117 in.
Length 196 in.
Width 77 in.
Engine Electric motor with 60-kWh lithium-ion battery
EPA ratings 98 mpg city / 101 mpg highway

How this test is conducted

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEN1708 CEN1630
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 28 4
Footrest (cm) 22 1
Left toepan (cm) 10 1
Brake pedal (cm) 6 1
Parking brake (cm)
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 1 0
Upper occupant compartment
Steering column 0 0
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 2 4
Upper dash (cm) 9 4
Lower instrument panel (cm) 12 4

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEN1708
Head
HIC-15 526
Peak gs at hard contact 106
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.9
Extension bending moment (Nm) 6
Maximum Nij 0.45
Chest maximum compression (mm) 17
Femur (kN)
Left 0.8
Right 0.3
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 1
Right 1
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.95
Right 0.60
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 3.3
Right 2.6
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 127
Right 96

Applies to 2016-17 models built after September 2016 and before February 2017

Overall evaluation
A
Structure and safety cage
A
Injury measures
Head/neck
A
Chest
G
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
A
Restraints and dummy kinematics
A
Important: Frontal crash test ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

The Tesla Model S was introduced in the 2012 model year. The car is a plug-in battery-electric vehicle with no gasoline or diesel engine to help power the car. The EPA city and highway values listed below are based on a comparison of the energy content of a kWh of electricity vs. a gallon of gasoline.

Beginning with 2016 models built after September 2016, the side curtain airbags were lengthened to improve occupant protection in small overlap frontal crashes. Later, beginning with 2017 models built after January 2017, the driver seat belt was modified with the intent of reducing driver forward movement in a frontal crash. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Two tests of the Model S were conducted by the Institute on cars built before and after the driver seat belt modification. Because there were no structural changes, the structure rating is based on the tests of both cars, the first a 2016 model and the second a 2017 model.

The small overlap frontal rating of the Model S applies to the 75 and tested 60 variants, but does not apply to higher-performance variants, including the 100 and since-discontinued 90, which have larger batteries.

Structure

The driver space was maintained reasonably well in both tests considered together. In the first test, maximum intrusion of the lower interior was 4 cm at the lower hinge pillar; in the second test, intrusion at the same point was 28 cm. Upper interior intrusion measured 4 cm at the hinge pillar and instrument panel in the first test, compared to 2 cm at the hinge pillar and 9-12 cm at the instrument panel in the second test.

Injury measures

In the first test, a high head acceleration occurred when the dummy's head hit the steering wheel through the airbag, indicating that head injuries would be possible in a crash of this severity. A similar high head acceleration occurred in the second test. Measures indicate that injuries to the right lower leg also would be possible in the first test. (In the second test, it was the left lower leg that was problematic.)

Restraints and dummy kinematics

In the first test, the dummy’s head contacted the frontal airbag but started to slide off the left side because the seat belt allowed excessive forward excursion of the head and torso. The side curtain airbag deployed and has sufficient forward coverage to protect the head from contact with side structure and outside objects. The side torso airbag also deployed. Dummy head movement and airbag interaction was similar in the second test.

Tested vehicle specifications

Tested vehicle 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door
Weight 4,410 lbs.
Side airbags front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags
Wheelbase 117 in.
Length 196 in.
Width 77 in.
Engine Electric motor with 60-kWh lithium-ion battery
EPA ratings 97 mpg city / 100 mpg highway

How this test is conducted

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEN1630 CEN1708
Lower occupant compartment
Lower hinge pillar max (cm) 4 28
Footrest (cm) 1 22
Left toepan (cm) 1 10
Brake pedal (cm) 1 6
Parking brake (cm)
Rocker panel lateral average (cm) 0 1
Upper occupant compartment
Steering column 0 0
Upper hinge pillar max (cm) 4 2
Upper dash (cm) 4 9
Lower instrument panel (cm) 4 12

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEN1630
Head
HIC-15 262
Peak gs at hard contact 77
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.4
Extension bending moment (Nm) 5
Maximum Nij 0.29
Chest maximum compression (mm) 19
Femur (kN)
Left 1.0
Right 0.6
Knee displacement (mm)
Left 0
Right 1
Knee-thigh-hip injury risk (%)
Left 0
Right 0
Maximum tibia index
Left 0.53
Right 0.49
Tibia axial force (kN)
Left 2.8
Right 4.1
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 68
Right 100

Applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Overall evaluation
G
Structure and safety cage
G
Injury measures
Head/neck
G
Chest
G
Leg/foot, left
G
Leg/foot, right
G
Restraints and dummy kinematics
G
Important: Frontal crash test ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

The Tesla Model S was introduced in the 2012 model year. The car is a plug-in battery-electric vehicle with no gasoline or diesel engine to help power the car. The EPA city and highway values listed below are based on a comparison of the energy content of a kWh of electricity vs. a gallon of gasoline.

Beginning with 2016 models built after October 2016, a structural brace between the frame and rocker panel was reinforced and deployment guides were added to the side curtain airbags to improve occupant protection in moderate overlap frontal crashes. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Injury measures

Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Restraints and dummy kinematics

Dummy movement was well controlled. The driver side curtain airbag deployed during the crash. After the dummy moved forward into the frontal airbag, its head contacted the side curtain airbag.

Tested vehicle specifications

Tested vehicle 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door
Weight 4,363 lbs.
Side airbags front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags
Wheelbase 117 in.
Length 196 in.
Width 77 in.
Engine Electric motor with 60-kWh lithium-ion battery
EPA ratings 98 mpg city / 101 mpg highway

How this test is conducted

Measures of occcupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CEF1611
Footwell intrusion
Footrest (cm) 1
Left (cm) 2
Center (cm) 2
Right (cm) 2
Brake pedal (cm) 2
Instrument panel rearward movement
Left (cm) 1
Right (cm) 2
Steering column movement
Upward (cm) -2
Rearward (cm) -6
A-pillar rearward movement (cm) 0

Driver injury measures

Test ID CEF1611
Head
HIC-15 323
Peak gs at hard contact no contact
Neck
Tension (kN) 1.4
Extension bending moment (Nm) 15
Maximum Nij 0.28
Chest maximum compression (mm) 23
Legs
Femur force - left (kN) 1.0
Femur force - right (kN) 0.7
Knee displacement - left (mm) 0
Knee displacement - right (mm) 1
Maximum tibia index - left 0.27
Maximum tibia index - right 0.28
Tibia axial force - left (kN) 2.4
Tibia axial force - right (kN) 3.3
Foot acceleration (g)
Left 46
Right 71

Applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Overall evaluation
G
Structure and safety cage
G
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
G
Torso
G
Pelvis/leg
G
Head protection
G
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
G
Torso
G
Pelvis/leg
G
Head protection
G
Side crash test ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.

The Tesla Model S was introduced in the 2012 model year. The car is a plug-in battery-electric vehicle with no gasoline or diesel engine to help power the car. The EPA city and highway values listed below are based on a comparison of the energy content of a kWh of electricity vs. a gallon of gasoline.

Beginning with 2016 models built after October 2016, the B-pillars and roof rails were reinforced and deployment guides were added to the side curtain airbags to improve occupant protection in side impact crashes. (Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured is on the certification label typically affixed to the car on the driver door or adjacent B-pillar.)

Injury measures

Driver — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Passenger — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Head protection

Driver — The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof.

Passenger — The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof.

Tested vehicle specifications

Tested vehicle 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door
Weight 4,384 lbs.
Side airbags standard front and rear head curtain airbags and standard front seat-mounted torso airbags
Wheelbase 117 in.
Length 196 in.
Width 77 in.
Engine Electric motor with 60-kWh lithium-ion battery
EPA ratings 98 mpg city / 101 mpg highway

How this test is conducted

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

Test ID CES1613
B-pillar to longitudinal centerline of driver's seat (cm)
Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.
-20.5

Driver injury measures

Test ID CES1613
Head HIC-15 192
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.9
Compression (kN) 0.2
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 45
Lateral force (kN) 1.7
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 36
Average deflection (mm) 34
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 3.80
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.44
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 1.4
Acetabulum force (kN) 0.6
Combined force (kN) 1.9
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.4
L-M moment (Nm) 188
A-P moment (Nm) 55

Passenger injury measures

Test ID CES1613
Head HIC-15 212
Neck
Tension (kN) 0.3
Compression (kN) 1.0
Shoulder
Lateral deflection (mm) 30
Lateral force (kN) 1.4
Torso
Maximum deflection (mm) 33
Average deflection (mm) 21
Maximum deflection rate (m/s) 2.53
Maximum viscous criterion (m/s) 0.45
Pelvis
Iliac force (kN) 0.5
Acetabulum force (kN) 0.9
Combined force (kN) 1.3
Left femur
L-M force (kN) 0.3
L-M moment (Nm) 49
A-P moment (Nm) -34

Applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Overall evaluation
G
Curb weight 4,452 lbs
Peak force 19,271 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 4.33
Tested vehicle
Rating does not apply to Model S P100D. Rating of this model is Acceptable.
2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door
Roof strength test ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.

In the test, the strength of the roof is determined by pushing a metal plate against one side of it at a slow but constant speed. The force applied relative to the vehicle's weight is known as the strength-to-weight ratio. This graph shows how the ratio varied as the test of this vehicle progressed. The peak strength-to-weight ratio recorded at any time before the roof is crushed 5 inches is the key measurement of roof strength.

A good rating requires a strength-to-weight ratio of at least 4. In other words, the roof must withstand a force of at least 4 times the vehicle's weight before the plate crushes the roof by 5 inches. For an acceptable rating, the minimum required strength-to-weight ratio is 3.25. For a marginal rating, it is 2.5. Anything lower than that is poor.

How this test is conducted

Applies to 2016-17 models built after August 2016

Overall evaluation
G
Dynamic rating
G
Seat/head restraint geometry
G
Important: Ratings for head restraints & seats should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.

Seat type

Power leather seat

How this test is conducted

Seat type Power leather seat
Geometry
Backset (mm) 10
Distance below top of head (mm) 5
Seat design parameters
Pass/fail Pass
Max T1 acceleration (g) 13.2
Head contact time (ms) 58
Force rating 1
Neck forces
Max neck shear force (N) 0
Max neck tension (N) 279

Applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

System details

  • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking (Software Version 8.1)

Overall evaluation

Crash avoidance rating
Superior
6 points total

Forward collision warning

This system meets the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's criteria for forward collision warning.
1 point

Low-speed autobrake

In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
2 points

High-speed autobrake

In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
3 points

How this rating is determined

Ratings are given for 2 different headlight variations available for this vehicle.
Trim level(s)
  • 60 trim
  • 60D trim
  • 75 trim
  • 75D trim
  • 90D trim
  • 100D trim
  • P100D trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating
P
Distance at which headlights provide at least 5 lux illumination:
car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler 0 ft 100 ft 200 ft 300 ft 400 ft 500 ft 600 ft Low beams Optimal low-beam illumination High beams Optimal high-beam illumination Some glare

Low beams

On the straightaway, visibility was fair on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams created some glare.

High beams

On the straightaway, visibility was good on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

How this test is conducted

Trim level(s)
  • 60 trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 60D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 75 trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 75D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 90D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 100D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • P100D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? Yes
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating
P
Distance at which headlights provide at least 5 lux illumination:
car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler car-simpler 0 ft 100 ft 200 ft 300 ft 400 ft 500 ft 600 ft Low beams Optimal low-beam illumination High beams Optimal high-beam illumination Some glare

Low beams

On the straightaway, visibility was fair on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

The low beams created some glare.

High beams

On the straightaway, visibility was good on both sides of the road. On curves, visibility was inadequate in all 4 tests.

How this test is conducted

Trim level(s)
  • 60 trim
  • 60D trim
  • 75 trim
  • 75D trim
  • 90D trim
  • 100D trim
  • P100D trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
Applies to 2017 models
P
LOW BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Amount glare
exceeded threshold
Straightaway right edge 79.4 m 25.6 %
Straightaway left edge 48.5 m 25.6 %
250m radius right curve, right edge 43.9 m None
250m radius left curve, left edge 42.3 m None
150m radius right curve, right edge 37.8 m None
150m radius left curve, left edge 38.8 m None
HIGH BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Straightaway right edge 154.0 m
Straightaway left edge 149.9 m
250m radius right curve, right edge 60.5 m
250m radius left curve, left edge 61.4 m
150m radius right curve, right edge 46.4 m
150m radius left curve, left edge 46.9 m

Trim level(s)
  • 60 trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 60D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 75 trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 75D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 90D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • 100D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
  • P100D trim equipped with Premium Upgrades package
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? Yes
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
Applies to 2017 models
P
LOW BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Amount glare
exceeded threshold
Straightaway right edge 86.3 m 41.3 %
Straightaway left edge 48.8 m 41.3 %
250m radius right curve, right edge 50.9 m None
250m radius left curve, left edge 45.5 m None
150m radius right curve, right edge 41.7 m None
150m radius left curve, left edge 42.7 m None
HIGH BEAMS Average minimum useful
illumination distance (5 lux)
Straightaway right edge 151.6 m
Straightaway left edge 145.5 m
250m radius right curve, right edge 60.6 m
250m radius left curve, left edge 62.8 m
150m radius right curve, right edge 49.5 m
150m radius left curve, left edge 51.3 m

Applies to 2016-17 models

How this rating is determined

Overall evaluation

M
Vehicle trim 60 Base Leather
Seat type leather

This vehicle has 2 rear seating positions with complete child seat attachment (LATCH) hardware.

It has 1 additional seating position with a tether anchor only.

1 2 3


Good
Acceptable
Marginal
Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
Tether anchor
Lower anchors
Lower anchor(s) can be borrowed from adjacent positions(s)
No hardware available

Details by seating position

1
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
difficult to maneuver around anchors
2
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
none available
3
Tether anchor
easy-to-find location
no other hardware could be confused for anchor
Lower anchors
too deep in seat
not too much force needed to attach
difficult to maneuver around anchors

Seat position 21

3
Lower anchor A
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 4-6
Force (lbs) 29
Clearance angle (degrees) 40
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 4-6
Force (lbs) 27
Clearance angle (degrees) 46
Tether anchor
Location Middle seatback
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

Seat position 22

2
Lower anchor A
No lower latch for this seat position
Lower anchor B
No lower latch for this seat position
Tether anchor
Location Middle seatback
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No

Seat position 23

1
Lower anchor A
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 4-6
Force (lbs) 36
Clearance angle (degrees) 47
Lower anchor B
Open access rated No
Depth (cm) 4-6
Force (lbs) 36
Clearance angle (degrees) 42
Tether anchor
Location Middle seatback
Confusing hardware present No
Has contrasting label
within 3 inches of tether anchor
No
1
Side airbags: front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags
2
Rollover sensor: designed to deploy the side curtain airbags in the event of an impending rollover
3
Driver and front passenger knee airbags: separate airbags in the lower instrument panel designed to minimize knee injuries in frontal crashes
4
Electronic stability control
5
Antilock brakes
6
Daytime running lights

©1996-2016, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | www.iihs.org