The Tesla Model S and BMW i3 failed to score as high as other electric cars in a new round of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Though the two electric cars did not fail in any of the crash tests, they did score less than what was required to be rated as a “Top Safety Pick” by the IIHS, notes CNBC.
Tesla was just “acceptable” not “good”
The BMW i3 and the Model S fell a little short of getting the award, which was taken by the Toyota Prius Prime and the Chevy Volt. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the 2017 models of Tesla and BMW and other automakers. The “Top Safety Pick” award is given to cars that get a high rating in five different crash tests.
In the case of the Model S, one crash test in which the electric sedan didn’t get the highest rating of “good” was the small overlap front crash. The IIHS gave an “acceptable” rating to the Model S. The IIHS says in that test, the safety belt of the Model S allowed the dummy’s torso to move too far forward, so the head of the dummy hit the steering wheel through the airbag.
In addition, the IIHS raised concerns about potential leg injuries for drivers involved in small overlap front crashes.
“Neither of these (potential injuries) were so high that we would expect life threatening injuries, but they are too high in our opinion to get “Good” ratings for those body regions,” said Dave Zuby of IIHS.
Tesla, however, is of the opinion that the tests do not correctly portray the safety record of the Model S.
Updated Model S will win applause
A Tesla spokesperson said they are committed to making the safest cars in the world, and the Model S earlier received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP and a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
“Model S still has the lowest ever probability of injury of any car ever tested by NHTSA,” the spokesperson said.
The IIHS noted that the electric car maker has made production changes to the Model S to improve its ability to protect the passengers. The organization will test the updated model at some time. Tesla is confident that the improvements will bring a change in the review.
“We expect to receive the highest possible rating in every category, making Model S eligible for the IIHS Top Safety Pick award,” the spokesperson said.