Tesla released more information on how it achieved a top safety rating on Model Y with NHTSA, including the “lowest rollover risk of any SUV” ever tested.

Tesla Model Y crash test results

Earlier this week, we reported on Tesla Model Y acing its safety test with NHTSA.

The electric SUV achieved a five-star safety rating, which is not that impressive by itself as most vehicles are able to achieve it.

But more impressively, the Tesla Model Y achieved a five-star rating in every category tested by NHTSA.

It followed the Model 3, which has won several safety plaudits, including five-star ratings in all categories and the lowest probability of injury ever tested from NHTSA; five stars from Euro NCAP, while being hailed as setting a “new safety technology benchmark”; and five stars from the Australiasian NCAP.

Tesla talks Model Y safety

A day after the results came out, Tesla commented on the results and how they managed to achieve the rating:

Model 3 and Model Y were developed largely on the same platform, and this shared architecture is fundamental to both vehicles’ safety. To accommodate its higher mass and larger cabin space as an SUV, Model Y’s body structure is fortified and strengthened even further than Model 3 in pursuit of its 5-star safety rating.

Tesla also notes that they designed the Model Y with large front and back crumple zones – helping absorb the shock of an impact away from the occupants.

The automaker also notes that Model Y achieved the lowest rollover risk of any SUV tested:

Rollovers significantly increase the risk of injury during an accident. To calculate rollover resistance in NHTSA’s test, Model Y is parked on a suspended platform that rotates in all directions to physically measure center of gravity and moments of inertia. NHTSA’s assessment determined that Model Y has a rollover risk of 7.9%, the lowest of any SUV recorded to date by the organization.

Obviously, they achieved that thanks to the powertrain, and mainly the large battery pack being mounted so low to the ground, which creates a low center of gravity for the car.

Here’s Tesla’s full press release about it:

Model Y Achieves 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from NHTSA

The Tesla Team January 13, 2021

Since the launch of Model S in 2012, we have engineered every Tesla around the same advanced architecture that maximizes occupant safety. Today, Model Y, Tesla’s mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), is the latest Tesla vehicle to earn a 5-star safety rating in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

As part of their 2020 New Car Assessment Program, NHTSA tested Model Y Long Range All-Wheel Drive (AWD). We expect similar results for all Model Y variants, including our Performance AWD and single motor, rear-wheel drive variants in the future.

What makes Model Y safe?
Model 3 and Model Y were developed largely on the same platform, and this shared architecture is fundamental to both vehicles’ safety. To accommodate its higher mass and larger cabin space as an SUV, Model Y’s body structure is fortified and strengthened even further than Model 3 in pursuit of its 5-star safety rating.

At its core, in the event of a collision, Model Y is engineered to distribute crash forces around the cabin and away from vehicle occupants, greatly reducing the risk of injury. Our front and rear crumple zones and optimized side structures enable Model Y to manage crash energy very efficiently, reducing accelerations on the vehicle and, more critically, its occupants.

Additionally, Model Y’s structure now includes the world’s largest casting. Along with a fortified battery pack, these elements mitigate intrusion into the cabin, creating a robust safety cell with enough room for our advanced restraint systems to deploy and provide even more occupant protection.

Rollover risk
Rollovers significantly increase the risk of injury during an accident. To calculate rollover resistance in NHTSA’s test, Model Y is parked on a suspended platform that rotates in all directions to physically measure center of gravity and moments of inertia. NHTSA’s assessment determined that Model Y has a rollover risk of 7.9%, the lowest of any SUV recorded to date by the organization.

As with all Tesla vehicles, Model Y’s architecture is fundamentally designed to have a very low center of gravity, which is accomplished by strategically placing its heavy battery pack and electric motors low down in the vehicle.

Safety is at the core of every Tesla vehicle, and Model Y benefits from years of immense passion for vehicle safety. Every Tesla comes standard with advanced crash-avoidance and pedestrian protection features, including Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning, among others. By providing the most advanced equipment and technologies, our goal is to help customers prevent avoidable accidents whenever possible, and, when they are not avoidable, to help mitigate injury to the fullest extent possible. Indeed, we believe Model Y to be among the safest vehicles available to consumers on the road.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.

About the Author