Tesla Model S, BMW i3 Fall Short In Crash Tests By IIHS

In 2013 Tesla boasted that it had the best crash test ratings ever for a new auto on the new scale. In order to be eligible for TSP+, vehicles must score "Good" in all five crash tests, and they must also contain some degree of forward crash protection.

It's the little things that brought misfortune to the Model S and i3 in this round of IIHS tests. "Head contact, while it is a concern, is not a big enough concern that we called it anything less than acceptable". However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that it failed to meet the requirements of the fifth test, which apparently is the most demanding.

Two of the most prominent electric cars have missed out on the highest award given for vehicle safety by the influential IIHS: Top Safety Pick+.

Its headlights were also rated "Poor", but Tesla claims it's working with suppliers to remedy that. "Model S has the lowest every probability of injury of any auto ever tested by NHTSA". Other vehicles tested by the IIHS in this round include the BMW i3 and Toyota Prius Prime.

First, the driver's side seat belt didn't adequately restrain the occupant in a front overlap crash, causing the dummy's head to hit the steering wheel. The two electric cars had some shortcomings.

The Tesla Model S in a small frontal overlap crash.Screenshot via IIHS/YouTubeThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety chose to put four all-electric and hybrid electric vehicles to the test for safety.




The insurance industry-funded group revealed today that neither model qualifies for either the coveted Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ awards. Part of the report reads, "Measurements from the dummy indicated that injuries to the head, along with the lower right leg, would be possible in a real-world crash of the same severity".

The government hasn't yet reported crash-test results for the i3.

"Model S still has the lowest ever probability of injury of any auto ever tested by NHTSA", the spokesperson said.

This Sept. 20, 2016, photo provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows a 2017 BMW i3 before crash safety testing. The i3's only available headlight system earned an acceptable rating.

The i3, a small auto, fails to reach the winner's circle because it rates only acceptable in the head restraint and seat evaluation, which measures a vehicle's ability to protect against neck injuries in a rear crash.

"There's no reason the most efficient vehicles can't also be among the safest", says David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer.

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