Safety Test Results on Electric Cars


"The ratings for the Model S apply to 2016 and 2017 cars built after October 2016", the institute added. While the Model S is a technology masterpiece, there is another piece of the puzzle that would make it that much more desirable: safety. Where the sedan stumbled was in small overlap front crash test, where it earns an acceptable rating. The test is created to highlight any issues in front structural protection.

The Model S received "good" ratings in all but one crash test. That allowed the dummy's head to hit the steering wheel hard through the airbag.

For its part, Tesla says that a fix which should address the problem is already in the pipeline.

However, the institute said Tesla made a production change this month to address the problem, so the auto will be tested again. The crash tests they conducted were also done on other electric cars from Toyota and Chevrolet which both passed with flying colors, watch the video below.

Still, it's not the only blot on Tesla's score book.

The government hasn't performed a roof-strength test on the P100D. Because the rating is based on a strength-to-weight ratio, and the P100D is heavier due to a larger battery, it earned an acceptable rating. In fact, Tesla recently lengthened the side curtain airbags in order to improve performance in the small-overlap front crash test, but it obviously wasn't enough. That began at the beginning of 2017, and is expected to roll-out progressively as Tesla monitors real-world feedback for any signs of potential problems.

It fell short in the head restraint test, which measures how well the auto protects against neck injuries in a rear crash. That looks at how well a vehicle protects against neck injuries, in the case of a rear crash.

A report from IIHS states that riding in a Tesla's new Model S luxury sedans may not be as safe as many may tend to think.

The i3's only available headlight system earns an acceptable rating.

The Chevrolet Volt was noted for having a Top Safety Pick + rating already, and the IIHS plans to test the new Chevy Bolt EV later this year. Toyota's hybrid does well with all its standard safety systems.

"BMW clearly thought a lot about safety when designing the i3", Zuby says. It's a shame that it missed the mark on head restraints, which is something most of today's vehicles get right.

"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.

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