The Tesla Model S narrowly missed the top safety designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) by earning an “acceptable” rating in the small overlap front crash test. The vehicle earned “good” ratings on the other four tests, but did not qualify for a Top Safety Pick designation.
The IIHS tests vehicles in five separate crash scenarios. Achieving a “good” rating in all five would enable the car to be designated as an IIHS top safety pick.
In the small overlap front crash test, the Tesla’s safety belt allowed the crash-test dummy’s torso to move too far forward, causing the dummy’s head to hit the steering wheel hard through the airbag resulting in head injuries and injury to the lower right leg.
Tesla said that it made a production change on Jan 23 to address the deficiency and IIHS will test the updated vehicle as soon as the car is delivered.