Tesla Model Y Euro NCAP rating "remarkable at least," FEMA says

FEMA has received response from Euro NCAP regarding a letter sent opposing a five-star rating given to the self-driving-capable Tesla Model Y.

Tesla Model Y

Euro NCAP has responded to a letter sent by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations accusing it of not protecting motorcyclists after it awarded a five-star rating to the Tesla Model Y. 

Euro NCAP is a safety rating system for cars which is designed to ensure that drivers and other road users - although not necessarily motorcyclists - alike are not put in danger by new cars. 

Their safety rating is presented using a straightforward five-star rating system, where a higher rating indicates a higher degree of safety for a car. 

The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) took issue with Euro NCAP when it gave the Tesla Model Y five stars. 

“We consider this very high rating remarkable at least,” FEMA said in an article published on its website on 27 September 2022.

FEMA considers that Tesla ‘autopilot’ systems - which are included on the Model Y - are unsafe for motorcycle riders, citing two incidents earlier this year where motorcyclists were hit from behind by autonomous-driving Teslas which could not detect them. 

The issue with the Tesla autonomous driving systems is that they use cameras for detection, rather than radar or lidar. This means that they cannot judge distance as well as systems using the two aforementioned alternative methods of detection. 

FEMA says that “the Tesla safety assist systems have proven themselves to be inadequate and unreliable.”

The issue FEMA has with Euro NCAP is that their tests do not currently use motorcycles in their safety tests. 

“What you do not test cannot fail,” FEMA says, and since Euro NCAP does not test cars for safety around motorcycles, they are unable to fail - or pass - for motorcycle-related safety. 

There should be new motorcycle-related tests for autonomous vehicles coming in 2023. But, for now, Euro NCAP defends itself against the FEMA opposition by saying:

“Euro NCAP is continuing to improve protocols and has invested a lot of time and efforts to develop test procedures including PTW (powered two-wheelers, ed.). 

“These will become part of the rating next year. Euro NCAP already is far beyond what is legally required, but with this update will push the vehicle manufacturers even more to improve their systems. 

“Tesla has performed very well in the tests we currently conduct and deserves credit for it, not questioned. Is it optimised to the test? Maybe, but so are others.”

The Best Motorcycles for Beginners | Best bikes for new riders from 300cc to 700cc

The Best Motorcycles for Beginners | Best bikes for new riders from 300cc to 700cc