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How Safe are Tesla Vehicles Compared to Other Auto Makers?

Recently, we've heard of investigations into Tesla's Autopilot system and we're asking the question, "How safe are Tesla vehicles compared to other auto makers?" Let's dive into some sources to get the answer.


With the recent news of Tesla Autopilot under investigation, we decided to take a look at the safety ratings for Tesla vehicles compared to other automakers to see which were rated the most safe. Let's see what the results are.

From Tesla's Website

From Tesla's own website, for Q1, 2021:

"In the 1st quarter, we registered one accident for every 4.19 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot but with our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 2.05 million miles driven. For those driving without Autopilot and without our active safety features, we registered one accident for every 978 thousand miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles."

When Elon Musk said Autopilot was approaching 10 times the safety of a vehicle without Autopilot, this was the data I believe he was referencing. Since Tesla logs every accident, I believe we can trust this source of data compared to the NHTSA's data.

Lowest Probability of Injury

A couple months ago, Tesla unveiled the Model S Plaid and with it, mentioned the top vehicles with the lowest probability of injury in crash testing according to the NHTSA. Here they are:

  • Model 3 RWD (2018)
  • Model S Plaid (2021) - Internal Data Only
  • Model 3 AWD (2019)
  • Model S RWD (2013)
  • Model Y AWD (2020)
  • Model X (2017)

Let's take a look at the NHTSA website itself and see how it ranks these Tesla vehicles for safety. You'll be able to see for yourself.

The Tesla Model 3 RWD 2018 has a safety rating of 5/5 with 1 recall and 2 investigations.

The Tesla Model S Plaid, 2021, has not yet been tested or has no data on the NHTSA website yet.

The Tesla Model 3 AWD 2019 has a safety rating of 5/5 with 3 recalls and 2 investigations.

The Tesla Model S RWD 2013 has a safety rating of 5/5 with 7 recalls and 5 investigations. This is an older car and it makes sense that there would be more issues with an older vehicle.

The Tesla Model Y AWD 2020 has a safety rating of 5/5 with 5 recalls and 1 investigation.

The Tesla Model X 2017 has a safety rating of 5/5, 3 recalls and 6 investigations.

What we see are very safe Tesla vehicles according to the trusted NHTSA organization. I searched other vehicles from other auto makers and here are some other vehicles with their safety rating.

For instance, the 2020 Honda Fit also had a 5/5 safety rating. There were no investigations or complaints.

The 2020 Honda Civic only had 36 complaints and a 5/5 safety rating.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla has a 5/5 safety rating and few complaints.

A 2018 Ford Mustang had 3 recalls and a 5/5 safety rating.

A 2020 Ford F-150 had a 4/5 safety rating and 7 recalls.

Other vehicles can be searched quickly by typing in the year, make, and model. My conclusion is that Tesla vehicles are very safe. But there are other auto makers who have safe cars too.

I would love to see how the NHTSA ranked the Tesla vehicles as the most safe for lowest probability of injury during crash tests, but haven't been able to find a page on their website to show the top vehicles ranked from most safe to least safe. I'd love to be able to query NHTSA data. If I find a way to do so, I will update this article.

What do you think about the vehicles mentioned here, are they the safest vehicles around? Are there vehicles that are safer than Tesla vehicles?

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers.

Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.


No (not verified)    April 30, 2022 - 6:39AM

Not a Tesla investor only using information from the Tesla website to report about the safety of Tesla cars. Snl couldn’t come up with a better skit