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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
absence of visibility past the B-pillar
4-wheel ventilated disc [brakes] with ABS
The Detroit News
Until we get official crash-test results, it's hard to know how the Tesla 2010 Roadster's metal frame and carbon-fiber body panels will hold up. Regrettably, to keep weight down, the Roadster foregoes quite a lot of the latest safety gear as well.
Thus far, the 2010 Tesla Roadster has not been crash-tested by either NHTSA or IIHS. And it may be a long while before this high-priced, low-production specialty sportscar finds a pair of crash-test dummies in its two front seats. As soon as results for the Tesla Roadster are available, however, TheCarConnection.com will bring you the updated information.
Like several other low-volume vehicles, Tesla's safety features are more active than passive. Cars.com points out that "standard [safety] features include...traction control and a tire pressure monitoring system." Reviewers at The Detroit News note that the Tesla 2010 Roadster features "4-wheel ventilated disc [brakes] with ABS," as you would expect from any car with the Tesla's performance aspirations.
The 2010 Roadster does feature front driver and passenger airbags, though due to a special exemption from the NHTSA, they are not the latest kind with sensors that detect the weight of seat occupants and vary their deployment strength accordingly. As Edmunds points out, "Notably, side airbags are unavailable."
TheCarConnection.com's staff of experts considers the Valet Mode on the Tesla Roadster to be a safety feature; it will keep both teenagers of any age and parking lot attendants from enjoying the Tesla's very obvious driving thrills.
Rearward visibility gets slammed on the 2010 Tesla Roadster, dragging down its overall safety rating. The thick pillars behind the Tesla's doors are clearly apparent, and Autoblog reviewers lament the "absence of visibility past the B-pillar," where the bodywork creates significant sightline barriers.
In the absence of third-party crash test results, rely on the 2010 Tesla Roadster's handling to help steer you out of trouble.