The Tesla Model 3 electric sedan has lost its five-star ANCAP safety rating, at least for now.
ANCAP says that, based on information provided to it by Tesla, the facelifted Model 3 will remain unrated for now instead of carrying over the pre-facelift model’s five-star rating.
The pre-facelift Model 3 received five stars on the back of testing conducted in 2019. It received scores of 96 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 74 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 94 per cent for safety assist.
It’s unclear what information Tesla provided ANCAP. We’ve reached out to ANCAP and will update this story once we hear back.
As recently reported, the updated Model 3 is currently being investigated by Australian regulators due to a potential technical compliance breach.
“The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts is aware of concerns regarding the child restraint anchorage points in the 2024 Tesla Model 3 and is looking into this matter,” said Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts spokesperson.
“Road safety is a top priority of the Australian Government. That is why we have legislated road vehicle standards in place to ensure all road vehicles, both new and used, being provided to the Australian market for the first time meet critical national standards for safety, security and emissions.”
It’s understood the updated version of the Model 3 doesn’t have an accessible rear centre top-tether point.
This is despite the updated Tesla Model 3 being certified as a five-seater vehicle according to Australian government approval documents.
Uniquely, Australian Design Rules (ADRs) stipulate any rear seat with a seatbelt must feature a top-tether point for a child seat, though ADR 34 requires it to be more accessible based on the wording.
ADR 34.6.1 states that “clearance shall be provided around each ‘Child Restraint Anchor Fitting’ to allow latching and unlatching, without the use of tools, of the ‘Attaching Clip’ to the ‘Child Restraint Anchor Fitting’ when it is installed in the vehicle”.
The pre-update version of the Tesla Model 3 had a top-tether anchor point for the rear middle seat that could be accessed by a flap on the parcel shelf.
It’s understood the updated Tesla Model 3 does still have the rear middle top-tether anchor point but it can’t be accessed as there’s no flap on the parcel shelf.
It’s worth noting the updated Model 3 does have accessible top-tether points, as well as ISOFIX points, on the two outboard rear seats.
We reached out to Tesla Australia last week in regard to this situation and will update this story if we hear back.
It’s unclear if Tesla will be forced to enact a stop sale until the problem is rectified, and if it will issue a recall for examples of the updated Model 3 that have already been delivered to Australian customers.
Deliveries of the updated Model 3 in Australia commenced last December.