As we wait for the Tesla Model S to record a Nürburgring lap time, there’s news about the smaller Model 3. The 2019 Tesla Model 3 has been named a Top Safety Pick+, IIHS announced today. This is Tesla’s first safety award from the agency.
The Tesla Model 3 earned “Good” safety ratings in all crash test categories. It also earned top marks in the difficult headlight evaluation, as well as a “Superior” rating in front crash prevention. With its standard front crash prevention system, the Model 3 avoided crashes in the 12-mph and 25-mph tests.
The Model 3 joins the Audi e-tron as the second battery-electric vehicle to enter the IIHS winner’s circle. Hyundai’s Nexo fuel cell vehicle also earned the top award. IIHS didn’t release a full set of scores for the 2018 Model 3, only rating the headlights and front crash prevention system. The agency hasn’t listed ratings for the 2019 Model S, but the 2017 version it tested didn’t receive the award.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Model 3 a five-star safety rating. Tesla has claimed the Model 3 has the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA, based on data from the agency. NHTSA apparently disagrees with that assessment, however. It said Tesla was making “misleading statements,” and it even sent the automaker a cease-and-desist letter over the claims.
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