2017 Tesla Model S

large luxury car / 4-door hatchback

2017 Tesla Model S 4-door hatchback

Crashworthiness

Rating overview
Small overlap front: driver-side
Moderate overlap front
Side
Roof strength
Head restraints & seats

Crash avoidance & mitigation

Headlights
Front crash prevention
Standard system
Superior

Child seat anchors

LATCH ease of use

Key

  • G
    Good
  • A
    Acceptable
  • M
    Marginal
  • P
    Poor
  • Superior
  • Advanced
  • Basic

Some ratings use a scale of Poor to Good. Others range from Basic to Superior.

Small overlap front: driver-side

Rating applies to 2017 models built after January 2017

Tested vehicle: 2017 Tesla Model S 60 4-door

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.

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.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver 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.

Action shot taken during the second of two small overlap frontal crash tests.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the second crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained reasonably well overall.

In both tests, the seat belt allowed far too much forward movement of the dummy to the extent that its head hit the steering wheel hard through the airbag (second test shown).

In the second test, the left front wheel was shattered during the crash, but the brake rotor and caliper remained intact and were forced rearward and inward, splitting the welded seam of the door hinge pillar, and contributing to a moderate risk of injury to the left lower leg.

With the carpeting, insulation, and rubber removed, the intruding brake rotor and adjacent caliper (red arrow) and separation between the outer and inner portions of the hinge pillar (yellow arrows) are more readily apparent.

Technical measurements for this test

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

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

Tested vehicle: 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door

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.

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.

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Hip/thigh
Lower leg/foot
Driver 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.

Action shot taken during first of two small overlap frontal crash tests.

The dummy's position in relation to the door frame, steering wheel, and instrument panel after the first crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained well.

In both tests, the seat belt allowed far too much forward movement of the dummy to the extent that its head hit the steering wheel hard through the airbag (first test shown).

In the first test, forces on the right lower leg were just high enough to indicate a moderate risk of injury (the knee airbag has been pulled upward to make both dummy's legs visible).

Technical measurements for this test

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

How the driver-side small overlap front test is conducted

Moderate overlap front

Rating applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Tested vehicle: 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door

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.

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.)

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Chest
Leg/foot, left
Leg/foot, right
Driver restraints and dummy kinematics

Action shot taken during the moderate overlap frontal crash test.

The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained very well.

Smeared greasepaint indicates where the dummy's head contacted the side curtain airbag during rebound.

Intrusion into the driver's space was minimal, and all leg and foot injury measures were low.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant 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

How the moderate overlap front test is conducted

Side

Rating applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Tested vehicle: 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door

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.

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.)

Overall evaluation
Structure and safety cage
Driver injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Driver head protection
Rear passenger injury measures
Head/neck
Torso
Pelvis/leg
Rear passenger head protection

View of the vehicle and barrier just after the crash test.

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side curtain airbag.

Smeared greasepaint shows where the rear passenger dummy’s head was protected by the side airbag.

Technical measurements for this test

Measures of occupant compartment intrusion on driver side

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

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

How the side crash test is conducted

Roof strength

Rating applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Tested vehicle: 2016 Tesla Model S 60 4-door

Overall evaluation
Curb weight 4,452 lbs
Peak force 19,271 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 4.33

How the roof strength test is conducted

Head restraints & seats

Rating applies to 2016-17 models built after August 2016

Seat type: Power leather seat

Overall evaluation
Dynamic rating
Seat/head restraint geometry
Technical measurements for this test
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

How the head restraint & seat test is conducted

Headlights

Ratings are given for 2 different headlight variations available on 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
High-beam assist? No
Overall rating
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.

Technical measurements for this test
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
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
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.

Technical measurements for this test
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
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

How headlights are evaluated

Front crash prevention

System details

  • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking (Software Version 8.1)

Applies to 2016-17 models built after October 2016

Overall evaluation

  • This system meets the requirements for forward collision warning.
  • In the 12 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
  • In the 25 mph IIHS test, this vehicle avoided a collision.
Superior
Superior

How front crash prevention is evaluated

Child seat anchors

Applies to 2016-17 models

Overall evaluation
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
G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor
Seating positions that rely on borrowed lower anchors or have only a tether anchor available are not rated.
thether anchor symbol
Tether anchor
lower anchor symbol
Lower anchors
shared lower achors symbol
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
Technical measurements for this test

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

How child seat anchors are evaluated