NHTSA Changes Rules About Safety Ratings References

Posted Nov 22, 2013

Earlier this week, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) changed their guidelines on how car companies reference safety ratings.  The NHTSA said that companies may no longer refer to safety ratings with decimal points or ratings above five stars.

Around three months ago, Tesla Motors started bragged that they hit an all-time high 5.4-star safety rating for the Model S sedan.  Now Tesla Motors is being investigated for three battery-related fires that occurred in the last 6 weeks by the NHTSA.

This is only a fraction of the 250,000+ gasoline fires that happened in 2012, resulting in over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries.  In all three Tesla Model S fires, no one was seriously injured.  The NHTSA said that any auto companies that break the updated guidelines are misleading the public.

“Of all vehicles tested, including every major make and model approved for sale in the United States, the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants,” stated a press release that Tesla Motors issued on August 19th.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked the NHTSA to conduct the investigation because he believes that the media coverage was overly sensational.