Autos

Tesla says its Model 3 has lowest probability of injury out of all cars ever tested by NHTSA

Key Points
  • The Tesla Model 3 midsize sedan has the lowest probability of causing injury of any vehicle tested by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
  • Certain features of the car improve safety, such as the presence of a large battery pack, which helps keep the car stable.
A Tesla Model 3 at the Paris International Motor, October 2, 2018.
Uli Deck | picture alliance | Getty Images

Tesla said its Model 3 midsize sedan has the lowest probability of causing injury of any vehicle ever tested by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

That means that all three Tesla vehicles — the Model S sedan, Model X sport utility vehicle and the Model 3 — take the top three spots in terms of least risk of injury, the company said.

"Not only has Model 3 achieved a perfect 5-star safety rating in every category and sub-category, but NHTSA's tests also show that it has the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested," Tesla said in announcing the news on its blog Sunday night.

NHTSA told CNBC it does not rank vehicles in order of safety beyond its 1-5 rating scale. 

"There is no NHTSA safest ranking within the five-star category," NHTSA said in a statement sent to CNBC. 

The heavy battery packs on the bottom of each Tesla vehicle help keep its center of gravity low, which keeps the car stable and reduces the risk of the vehicle flipping or rolling over. Tesla also said its front crumple zone is "optimized to absorb energy and crush more efficiently."

While Tesla's cars have earned praise for safety and performance features, they have received scrutiny along the way, as well. For example, NHTSA and the National Traffic Safety Board have each investigated Tesla's automated driver assistance system, Autopilot, after crashes that occurred in Tesla vehicles while the system was engaged.

The company's shares were down 3.3 percent in midday trading Monday.

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