Tesla Model S Fails To Receive “Top Safety Pick” From IIHS

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), well known for the incredible safety of its vehicles, surprisingly failed to receive the highest rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) due to mediocre performance in a certain type of front-end crash.

According to CNBC, just one slip-up prevented Tesla from receiving the coveted “Top Safety Pick” award:

For the Model S, one crash test where the electric car did not get the highest rating of “Good” was the small overlap front crash where it was given an “Acceptable” rating by the IIHS.

In these specific IIHS tests, test dummies sustained head injuries when their heads hit the steering wheel. The IIHS also had concerns about potential leg injuries.

“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 with IIHS.

Tesla responded by touting its sterling safety record:

“We are committed to making the world’s safest cars, and Model S has previously received a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a 5-star rating from Euro NCAP. Model S still has the lowest ever probability of injury of any car ever tested by NHTSA,” said a Tesla spokesperson.

BMW’s all-electric i3 crossover SUV also failed to receive the “Top Safety Pick” due to concerns around another type of crash. Tesla noted that recent production changes to the Model S includes updates to address the IIHS issues, and “We expect to receive the highest possible rating in every category, making Model S eligible for the IIHS Top Safety Pick award” when the newer version is tested.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose $0.81 (+0.32%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, TSLA has gained 17.90%, versus a 1.79% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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