Tesla, BMW fall short in electric vehicle crash tests

Posted February 03, 2017

The "plus" is awarded to vehicles that meet all those criteria and also come with good or acceptable headlights. There are five different types of crash test. "That allowed the dummy's head to hit the steering wheel hard through the airbag", noted Automotive News. This test is created to see how well the seats and head restraints protect against neck injuries in a rear crash.

According to the IIHS, Tesla has implemented a running change created to improve the Model S' small overlap performance beginning with production on January 23.

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.

For some reason, the IIHS made a decision to test electric vehicles together this year and compare their safety ratings based on their own crash tests. The rating is based on a strength-to-weight ratio.

The Model S also would not have qualified for the award since IIHS has not rated it for front crash prevention. Finally, some of its vehicles still lack an activated forward crash protection system, even though it comes standard, which is another requirement for TSP+.

The Model S received a rating of "Acceptable" in one of the tests. In both cases, there's room for some improvement, the IIHS says.

The BMW i3 also had a problem in the small frontal overlap crash scenario: the vehicles couldn't fully protect passengers in the rear seats.

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Safety group gives top ratings to Volt, Prius Prime. The system reduced the impact speed by an average of 9 mph in the 12 mph track test and by 7 mph in the 25 mph test.

The Model S has in the past received a 5-star safety ranking from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The i3 earned the second-highest rating of "acceptable" for its headlights.

However, the IIHS says that the i3 and Model S won't require extensive modifications like the up-for-a-redesign Leaf does. It's a shame that it missed the mark on head restraints, which is something most of today's vehicles get right.

The ratings for the Model S apply to 2016 and 2017 cars built after October 2016. A "poor" rating was awarded for the headlight performance, whereas the ease of use of the child seat anchors can be described as "marginal." .

Of note, the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt - which was released late 2016 - has yet to be tested by the institute. The Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime both get the 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, though buyers are advised to tick the crash prevention options and high-beam assist on the Volt if they want the best safety.