Tesla Model X gets uniform 5-star safety ratings from NHTSA, first SUV to do so


2017 Tesla Model X

2017 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

Tesla's Model X has secured a major accomplishment: it is officially the first SUV to receive 5-star crash-test ratings in every single category.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Model X uniform 5-star ratings, which Tesla says is due to the design of the all-electric crossover utility vehicle.

As in the Tesla Model S hatchback sedan that preceded it, the Model X powertrain features a lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the floor.

 DON'T MISS: 2016 Tesla Model X first drive review

This gives the Model X a low center of gravity, which in turn, means the Model X has a relatively low chance of a rollover crash.

The rollover-crash standards are often a tough test to crack for automakers, especially with utility vehicles.

Not only did the Model X return five stars in each category, but the NHTSA said 18 months ago that the Model X has the second-lowest probability of injury in a crash among all the cars it tested.

 

2017 Tesla Model X

2017 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

What was the Model X second to? The Tesla Model S sedan.

Drivers and passengers in the Model X run a 93-percent probability of walking away from a crash without a serious injury.

It's a major victory for Tesla, which has seen slow Model X sales and the Model S stripped of safety ratings by Consumer Reports.

READ THIS: Consumer Reports restores some points to Tesla electric cars for automatic braking

Consumer Reports downgraded the Model S' safety ratings after new software removed automatic emergency braking.

Tesla has since updated the Model S with automatic emergency braking, though it only works at speeds up to 28 mph in cars equipped with its "Hardware 2" suite of sensors, those built since last fall.

Originally, the system worked at highway speeds in earlier Tesla cars.

 

2017 Tesla Model X

2017 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

The respected consumer guide restored some of its safety accolades to Tesla cars following the update that restored some emergency braking.

Tesla's safety record is some good news for buyers and owners at a time when AAA announced insurances rates may rise up to 30 percent for Tesla owners.

After combing through data, the insurance provider found the Model S and Model X both logged abnormally high claim rates.

CHECK OUT:  AAA raises Tesla insurance rates 30 percent; company disputes analysis

Not only are both vehicles plagued with high claim rates, they're also extraordinarily more costly to repair.

Other insurance providers have not stated if they will raise rates, as AAA intends to.

For now, Model X owners may rest easy knowing they're well protected in the event of a crash.

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