Consumer Alert: Regulators and Tesla don’t see eye to eye on safety ratings

Is a leading car manufacturer overstating how safe its vehicles are? Government regulators seem to think so.

News 12 Staff

Aug 9, 2019, 7:32 PM

Updated 1,749 days ago

Share:

Is a leading car manufacturer overstating how safe its vehicles are? Government regulators seem to think so.
For years, Tesla has been trumpeting the safety of its vehicles. For example, the company has said its Model 3 "achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA," or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There's just one problem: the NHTSA disagrees. In correspondence published this week by the website Plainsite, the agency warned Tesla about what it calls “a number of misleading statements,” adding, “We are referring this matter to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to investigate.”
Tesla wrote back, “Respectfully, we disagree with the agency’s position. Tesla’s statement is neither untrue nor misleading.”
Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, says the news is “disturbing, but unfortunately, not particularly surprising.”
"When we see NHTSA having to issue a cease-and-desist letter to stop them from way overstating the safety features of their vehicle, it’s really unfortunate and it’s rather discouraging of how people are supposed to understand what is true and what is not in terms of this vehicle," Levine says.
Lost in the back and forth is the fact that Tesla’s crash test results are legitimately outstanding. The NHTSA website shows nothing less than a five-star rating for all Tesla vehicles. That’s the highest grade the agency gives out.
"Here, we’ve got a company that’s decided just having a five-star rating isn’t enough," says Levine. "Just explaining what our vehicles do isn’t enough, we’ve got to hype them up to a point that’s totally deceptive and resulted in one agency requesting a different agency to investigate."
Neither Tesla nor the government are commenting on this dispute. But in its letters to the feds, Tesla says 40% of cars today get five-star crash ratings, so the company looked at the results of individual test components to conclude its cars are safer.


More from News 12
6:07
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

2:29
Weather improves overnight; sunny and warm Friday ahead to start the holiday weekend

Weather improves overnight; sunny and warm Friday ahead to start the holiday weekend

1:40
New Jersey travelers say high gas prices, traffic won’t deter them from holiday getaway

New Jersey travelers say high gas prices, traffic won’t deter them from holiday getaway

2:59
Fallen trees cause widespread damage as powerful storm tears through West Milford

Fallen trees cause widespread damage as powerful storm tears through West Milford

1:08
Water main break in Hackensack sends water shooting up into the air

Water main break in Hackensack sends water shooting up into the air

0:17
Shocking car crash caught on camera in Manchester Township

Shocking car crash caught on camera in Manchester Township

0:55
Parents of Seton Hall student who died while isolated with COVID-19 file lawsuit

Parents of Seton Hall student who died while isolated with COVID-19 file lawsuit

0:23
Two charged in fatal Jersey City shooting

Two charged in fatal Jersey City shooting

1:23
Floodwater running ‘over the train track bridge like a waterfall’ traps driver in Avenel

Floodwater running ‘over the train track bridge like a waterfall’ traps driver in Avenel

1:32
Gov. Murphy calls out Amtrak for system failures, says it ‘disrupts quality of life’ for NJ residents

Gov. Murphy calls out Amtrak for system failures, says it ‘disrupts quality of life’ for NJ residents

1:17
Rutgers University president defends making deals with pro-Palestinian protesters

Rutgers University president defends making deals with pro-Palestinian protesters

0:21
Police seek public’s help identifying man who robbed Lopatcong credit union

Police seek public’s help identifying man who robbed Lopatcong credit union

0:19
Police: 1 person injured, 1 arrested following incident in Wall Township

Police: 1 person injured, 1 arrested following incident in Wall Township

0:57
Officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler disciplined for not having bodycam activated

Officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler disciplined for not having bodycam activated

1:50
Jersey Shore towns kick off summer pedestrian safety campaign ahead of Memorial Day

Jersey Shore towns kick off summer pedestrian safety campaign ahead of Memorial Day

News 12 Book Club

News 12 Book Club

1:41
Best Beaches: We are kicking off the unofficial start to summer at Jenkinson's in Point Pleasant Beach

Best Beaches: We are kicking off the unofficial start to summer at Jenkinson's in Point Pleasant Beach

0:20
Car carrier truck breaks out in fire on New Jersey Turnpike in Kearny

Car carrier truck breaks out in fire on New Jersey Turnpike in Kearny

0:24
Prosecutors: Homeless man accused of sexually assaulting child at Morristown park

Prosecutors: Homeless man accused of sexually assaulting child at Morristown park

2:44
News 12 gets a sneak preview of Savannah Sunset Resort & Spa at Six Flags Great Adventure

News 12 gets a sneak preview of Savannah Sunset Resort & Spa at Six Flags Great Adventure