Tesla Cybertruck Crash Tests Conducted by NHTSA and IIHS Could be Put off Indefinitely, or Until Deliveries Increase

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Filed under Automotive, EV News, News, Tesla

The Tesla Cybertruck has undergone in-house crash testing by Tesla itself, revealing compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). While this allows the electric vehicle to be delivered to customers, the absence of official safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) raises questions about its safety profile.

In reality, Tesla Cybertruck faces the possibility of never undergoing crash tests by both the NHTSA and the IIHS. The vehicle is not included in the NHTSA’s 2024 list for 5-star safety tests, in part due to the timing of its delivery event. The potential lack of interest and popularity in the unconventional electric pickup may contribute to the decision of regulatory bodies to forego crash testing, leaving the comprehensive assessment of its crashworthiness uncertain. The ‘lack of interest’ is contributed to the rate of deliveries thus far and as we look into the near future. We just don’t see many Cybertrucks slated for delivery, or at least not enough to warrant crash testing.

The NHTSA, responsible for establishing performance requirements in accordance with FMVSS, does not explicitly “approve” new vehicles. Manufacturers typically certify compliance through internal crash testing, but the Cybertruck has not undergone NHTSA’s direct testing as of now. Although preliminary safety ratings for the Cybertruck have been included in the NHTSA database, these lack specific crash ratings and are limited to safety features such as Front Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

The NHTSA’s five-star safety ratings tests do not currently list the Cybertruck for inclusion in 2024, meaning the vehicle won’t receive official ratings until directly tested by the agency.

Similarly, the IIHS has no immediate plans to conduct crash tests on the Cybertruck. Automakers often perform their own crash tests to ensure federal regulation compliance. Joe Young of the IIHS clarified that, regardless of whether the Cybertruck is tested by the IIHS or included in NHTSA’s NCAP program, it still needs to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.

While the IIHS may consider testing the Cybertruck in the future based on general consumer interest, Tesla has the option to nominate the vehicle for testing. The testing nomination process allows automakers to expedite testing by reimbursing the IIHS for the vehicle’s cost. However, the decision to test the Cybertruck also depends on its popularity and availability.

The IIHS also operates a verification test program, enabling automakers to submit in-house data and crash test results. However, the Cybertruck, being a new model, is currently ineligible for certain aspects of this program. The IIHS crashworthiness team would need to determine the vehicle’s eligibility for verification ratings based on specific tests.

In essence, while the Cybertruck has met federal safety standards through in-house testing, its official safety ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS are pending, leaving potential customers awaiting comprehensive assessments of the vehicle’s crashworthiness and safety features.

Sources: NHTSA2024 5-Star Vehicle Ratings Tests, Teslarati


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