Tesla's Model Y wins 5-star safety rating from NHTSA

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Tesla's Model Y joined the ranks of its predecessors after earning an overall five-star safety rating across all of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash-test categories.

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Tesla Model Y frontal crash test (Photo courtesy of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

The NHTSA grades vehicles based on a series of scenarios, including frontal crashes, with subcategories for the driver and passenger seats, side crashes involving poles and barriers, and a rollover. The Model Y has a rollover risk of 7.9%, the lowest of any SUV recorded to date by the organization.

As part of the NHTSA's 2020 New Car Assessment Program, the agency also tested the Model Y's Long Range All-Wheel Drive.

"We expect similar results for all Model Y variants, including our Performance AWD and single motor, rear-wheel drive variants in the future," Tesla wrote Wednesday in a blog post.

The Model Y is "engineered to distribute crash forces around the cabin and away from vehicle occupants, greatly reducing the risk of injury," according to the automaker.

"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," Tesla said. "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."

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Every Tesla vehicle comes standard with advanced crash-avoidance and pedestrian protection features, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and forward collision warning.

"Safety is at the core of every Tesla vehicle, and Model Y benefits from years of immense passion for vehicle safety," Tesla added. "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."

Tesla previously earned perfect safety rating scores on its Model 3, Model X SUV, and Model S vehicles.

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