Tesla Model S after crash frontal crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administraion

In response to Tesla's claim that the Model S is the safest car ever tested, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a statement clearing up how it rates cars. While not denying that the Model S is a very safe car, the agency said that its rating system is only between one and five stars – nothing higher and nothing lower.

This means that, unlike honors classes in college and high school, there is no way to score above the highest rating, and Tesla says that it received a 5.4-star rating (although there is no indication where it got this information). Also, NHTSA made no mention of any broken equipment it suffered while testing the Model S; another claim made by Tesla. Scroll down for the Model S crash video courtesy of ABC News as well as NHTSA's brief statement.



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NHTSA Statement on 5-Star Safety Ratings

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 within 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.