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2019 Tesla Model 3 Won't Be on the Upcoming IIHS Top Safety Pick List - Here's Why

Here's why Tesla is not included in IIHS' 2019 Top Safety Picks.

This week, a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) will list out all of the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick-Plus rated vehicles for 2019. No Tesla will be on that list. No Tesla has ever been on that list. In the past, it was because no Tesla had ever earned the recognition. In past testing, the older Model S failed to make the grade for three important reasons. However this time, the reason the new Model 3 is not included is not due to testing.

IIHS works closely with automakers. The group communicates its testing schedule well in advance and automakers are given the opportunity to “nominate” vehicles for upcoming test periods. Since IIHS has a limited test capacity, this enables automakers to showcase models they have improved, and also allows them to remove from contention a model that they have not improved since a prior test. Tesla was given the opportunity to nominate the “new” Model 3 for inclusion on the 2019 IIHS list of Top Picks and did not.

Let’s not dive too deeply on why Tesla opted not to nominate the Model 3 right now. Anyone watching Tesla’s past year of business knows the automaker had a make or break year. They made it. Barely, if Elon Musk is to be believed. For our coverage, we are going to give Tesla the benefit of the doubt and assume that the Model S was not nominated for 2019 because it has twice previously failed to earn the required score on the small frontal overlap test and has not been improved. Further, we will assume that Tesla was just too busy to think about having the Model 3 testing accelerated. Frankly, we’d be shocked if they had time for anything other than making Model 3s. The Model 3 is currently outselling the entire Audi brand in America.

Tesla makes safe vehicles. Although we at Torque News focus on unusual accidents involving Autopilot, and we comprehensively cover the sometimes unflattering results of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s testing of the vehicles from Tesla, we consider Tesla’s cars to be among the safest on the market. The reason that Tesla’s Model 3 will not be included on IIHS’ list of safest vehicles tomorrow is not because of any poor test results. That we know from speaking directly with IIHS researchers. We suspect the reason Tesla didn’t nominate the Tesla Model 3 for inclusion and ask for a calendar spot on the limited test schedule, is that they were too tied up saving the company.

We look forward to covering the Model 3 safety testing once IIHS has had a chance to finish up its testing on the car. Check out the results of the recent Model 3 headlight testing here.


grwww (not verified)    January 6, 2019 - 2:29PM

This is a ridiculous article which guesses at every statement made. Tesla has no obligation to nominate a car. There are countless reasons why this could of not happened. My guess is because they already had NHSTA for the US version and that's enough for now.

Rui Silva (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 2:13AM

Now that they made those test on the model 3,i really want you to take a step back and acknowledge the BASIC said here in a new post

Don Michaels (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 5:34AM

How did you get this so wrong? Model 3 won top safety pick today. Will you offer a retraction of this irresponsible article?

Tudor (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 6:48AM

For whoever happen to waste their time reading this article, Tesla dis nominate the Model S for 2019 and got the top spot!