NHTSA Pushes Back Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) 5.4 Star Safety Rating Claim

Posted Aug 22, 2013

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not backing a statement that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) made about the crash test rating.  Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) claims that the Model S car had a crash test rating greater than five stars, but did not receive them because they already hit the max rating.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did say that the Model S vehicle performed incredibly, but was not off the scale as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was claiming.

The NHTSA runs a website called Safercar.gov.  That website lists the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S as hitting five stars in all of the crash test categories.  The NHTSA put together a statement on 5-star safety ratings after Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) made their claims.

Here is what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statement says:

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is committed to improving safety on the nation’s roadways and helping motorists make informed decisions about new or used vehicles they are considering purchasing. The agency’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program is designed to provide consumers with information about the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles beyond what is required by Federal standards.  One star is the lowest rating; five stars is the highest.  More stars equal safer cars. NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars and does not rank or order vehicles with the star rating categories. In addition, the agency has guidelines in place for manufacturers and advertising agencies to follow to ensure that accurate and consistent information is conveyed to the public.”

The NHTSA also posted several videos of the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S crash tests.

The NHTSA’s five-star rating system is based on the chances that a driver or passenger will be injured in an accident.  The NHTSA offers measurements of safety.

A Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) spokesman said that the company combined to produce a 5.4 star rating.  The director of the Center of Auto Safety Clarence Ditlow said that the Model S hit high marks on the test, but said that the company’s spin on the score is misleading.

Model E and Model X

Aside from the Model S, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is expected to launch a couple of new cars between now and 2016.  Next year, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is expected to launch the Model X crossover vehicle.  Yesterday, we reported that Tesla Motors registered the Model E trademark.  This will likely be the name of the lower cost sedan that the company is expected to launch in 2016.

MSCI World Index

The Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is going to be added to the MSCI World Index starting August 30th.  The MSCI World Index is a stock market index of 1,606 world stocks that is used to determine how the global stock market is doing based on the average of many of the top companies in the world.

Trademark Battle In China

One of the problems that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is facing while expanding into China is trademark issues.  A “trademark troll” in China named Zhan Baosheng bought the “Tesla” trademark in 2009.  He is demanding the equivalent of $32.6 million from the company.

[Source: ABC]