Tesla Model S Fails To Top IIHS Crash Test Again

The Tesla Model S failed to top a key IIHS crash test, the independent testing agency said Thursday. As a result, the EV firm failed to get the IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, which needs a “good” rating in all five crash test scenarios.

Tesla crash test
Blomst / Pixabay

Acceptable rating in crash test

The Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala and Tesla Model S could not go beyond “acceptable” ratings. The Ford Lincoln Continental, Toyota Avalon and Mercedes-Benz E-Class received the highest ratings. IIHS mainly conducted the test to identify the impact on the front driver side corner of the vehicle when it hits a tree or another vehicle.

IIHS stated in its report that Tesla did make some changes to the Model S cars produced after January, but it didn’t quite work out, as the car failed to score a “good” rating to get the IIHS Top Safety Pick rating. Often, automakers want the IIHS to re-test again if they are not able to achieve a good rating the first time.

We will have to wait to see if Tesla demands a re-test. Apart from the safety belt test, there were some problems in the second crash test as well, but that didn’t affect the rating, said IIHS.

Tesla hasn’t fixed the issue yet

In February, the IIHS gave just an acceptable rating to the Tesla car because the seatbelt could not hold the dummy firmly in the overlap test. At that time, the company said it would fix the issue, but it appears it has not.

Instead, the EV maker said in a statement to Reuters that the Model S has “received the highest rating in IIHS’s crash testing in every category except for one, the small overlap front crash test, where it received the second highest rating available.”

Further, the Palo Alto-based company said the United States government is the most objective and accurate body to test a vehicle for its safety features, and it has found that the Model S and Model X have the “lowest probability of injury of any cars that it has ever tested, making them the safest cars in history.”

Why the difference in ratings?

It must be noted that both the Tesla Model S and Model X have top safety ratings from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So a question arises as to why there’s a difference between the two crash tests. The tests by the NHTSA do not include small overlap front-end collisions, which, according to the IIHS, are responsible for about 25% of the injuries in front-end crashes.

Separately, a study by the IIHS also found that passengers in the cars have a higher fatality risk compared to SUVs or minivans. On average, cars account for about 39 deaths per million vehicles registered, compared to 21 for SUVs and 19 for minivans, notes The IIHS is a nonprofit organization funded by auto insurers that crash tests trucks, SUVs and cars.

On Wednesday, Tesla shares closed down 7.24% at $327.09. Year to date, the stock is up more than 53%, while in the last year, it is up more than 51%.