Well, don’t say we didn’t warn you. When Tesla suggested its Model S all-electric sedan was the safest car ever tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and had scored more than five out of five stars, we were more than a bit skeptical. And we were right. Without directly mentioning Tesla, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) basically said such claims are wrong.
NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the star rating categories. In addition, the agency has guidelines in place for manufacturers and advertising agencies to follow to ensure that accurate and consistent information is conveyed to the public.
There’s no mention of Tesla, as may befit a statement from a supposedly independent government body, but the message couldn’t be clearer: There’s simply no such thing as 5.4 stars out of 5. Also, companies should be careful about abusing the rating system to tell little white lies to the public. Ouch.