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Chevy Bolt Tops Tesla Model S In IIHS Safety Testing, but Can't Match Prius Prime

The Chevy Bolt battery electric vehicle earns a Top Safety Pick score on IIHS testing. Why the Bolt cannot match the Toyota Prius Prime or Chevy Volt's safety rating.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Scored well on a new IIHS safety test, but failed to meet the top score that the Toyota Prius Prime and Chevy Volt earned. The only area in which the Bolt failed to earn a top rating was with regard to headlights. In order to earn a Top Safety Pick Plus Rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a vehicle must have Acceptable or Good rated headlights. The Bolt only comes equipped with headlights rated Poor. Still, that earns the second best rating, ironically called Top Safety Pick. The added Plus rating indicates the highest score.

The new Chevy Bolt scored better than the Tesla Model S in two key areas. First, the Bolt earned a score of Good on the important small frontal overall crash test. The Model S was only able to score Acceptable. Also, when tested late last year as a new model, the Tesla Model S did not have active safety systems required to be considered fo inclusion on the top rating. However, Tesla has since made adjustments to both and IIHS plans to announce updated scores for the Model S in the coming weeks. That the group has not changed the Model S' rating seems to indicate that the model did not earn the top scores. The Bolt did prove to have Superior-rated automatic emergency braking (AEB). Like the Bolt, the Model S has headlights that are rated Poor.
- More Details:3 Reasons the Tesla Model S Isn't Top-Rated For Safety

The Toyota Prius Prime and Chevy Volt are the two top-rated electric vehicles in the U.S. market at this time. Each earns the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. The Prius Prime comes standard with Superior AEB, but it is optional on Volt. Volt scores Good on headlights and the Prime scores Acceptable. No electric vehicle with standard AEB has scored Good in all other areas yet.

Related: IIHS Makes Key Change To 2017 Top Safety Pick Plus Requirements