Tesla's electric car falls short in new IIHS crash tests

Tesla Motors' luxury electric sedan fell short of receiving the highest crash-protection ratings in testing by the insurance industry's safety arm, but two other plug-in cars earned top marks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Wednesday that the Tesla Model S, a hit in the high-end luxury sedan segment, failed to win the top ratings in its crash tests because it fell short in a few key areas. BMW's i3 electric car came up short as well.

But two other popular plug-ins, the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime, made the grade. They were designated as Top Safety Pick Plus vehicles. They excelled in front, side and roof crash protection and safety of their head restraints. They also had good headlights.

"There's no reason the most efficient vehicles can't also be among the safest," says David Zuby, IIHS' executive vice president, in a statement.

As for the Tesla, IIHS said it earned the top mark — "good" — in all respects except for one of the hardest tests, the small overlap front crash test which simulates running into a utility pole or other narrow object on one extreme side or the car or the other. It was rated "acceptable" in the test.

Tesla Motors' luxury electric sedan fell short of receiving the highest crash-protection ratings in testing by the insurance industry's safety arm, but two other plug-in cars earned top marks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Wednesday that the Tesla Model S, a hit in the high-end luxury sedan segment, failed to win the top ratings in its crash tests because it fell short in a few key areas. BMW's i3 electric car came up short as well.

But two other popular plug-ins, the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime, made the grade. They were designated as Top Safety Pick Plus vehicles. They excelled in front, side and roof crash protection and safety of their head restraints. They also had good headlights.

"There's no reason the most efficient vehicles can't also be among the safest," says David Zuby, IIHS' executive vice president, in a statement.

As for the Tesla, IIHS said it earned the top mark — "good" — in all respects except for one of the hardest tests, the small overlap front crash test which simulates running into a utility pole or other narrow object on one extreme side or the car or the other. It was rated "acceptable" in the test.

USA TODAY


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