The Nissan Leaf is a safe car. So says the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, which gave the Leaf a five-star rating. Nissan says the Leaf is the first all-electric vehicle to get that many pointy things from NHTSA. This shouldn't exactly come as a surprise, since the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) also gave the electric hatch five stars last month. Thus far, the two mainstream plug-in vehicles available in the U.S., the Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, have both done extremely well in crash tests. Earlier this year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's conducted crash tests gave both cars the IIHS' Top Safety Pick title. You can see a video of the Euro NCAP Leaf crash test here.
Some readers may be thinking, "but what about the Tesla Roadster?" That all-electric car was put through frontal, rear and side impact crash tests by NHTSA, so what rating did that car get? The Internet is quiet on that issue, and we've asked Tesla for a clarification. We assume that, as a smaller company with a new car, Tesla's Roadster was not subject to the same rules as the Leaf. We'll let you know what Tesla says, but feel free to comment if your knowledge of this issue is better than ours. In any case, there are videos of the NHTSA's Leaf crash tests after the jump. Fair warning to our more sensitive readers: these are perfectly good electric vehicles being destroyed here. Just so you know.
Nissan LEAF is the first 100-percent electric vehicle to earn five stars from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
Franklin, Tenn. (July 25, 2011) – The 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF has earned a 5-star overall vehicle rating for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The Nissan LEAF is the first fully electric vehicle to earn this highest distinction from the program. Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA introduced tougher tests and requirements in order to earn 5-star ratings. The Nissan LEAF has also been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
"The Nissan LEAF is the first all-electric vehicle to achieve 5-star overall for safety," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "Not only is the LEAF the most innovative car on the planet, it is also one of the safest."
Standard Nissan LEAF safety systems include Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection, 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's seat ELR only) with pretensioners and load limiters, child seat upper tether anchor, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system and child safety rear door locks. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) are also standard on all LEAF models.
About Nissan Americas
In the Americas, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.