dglobalnews.com Tesla Electric Car Falls Short in Crash Test
Published: Thu, February 02, 2017
Research | By Kayla Price

Tesla Electric Car Falls Short in Crash Test

For the Model S, one crash test where the electric vehicle did not get the highest rating of "Good" was the small overlap front crash where it was given an "Acceptable" rating by the IIHS. The impact could result in injuries to the head and lower right leg during a collision.

There's more to an IIHS safety rating than just crash tests.

Although the two shouldn't be compared directly given their size disparity, the Tesla Model S turned in a vastly different performance. Tesla uses a similar roof for its other Model S variants, but with the P100D having a larger battery pack than others, it could not get the "Good" and ended up with the "Acceptable".

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety says Tesla and BMW are aware of the problems and are fixing them. As USA Today points out, not all Model S sedans built since last October have a front crash prevention system. The i3 earned the second-highest rating of "acceptable" for its headlights. Finally, some of its vehicles still lack an activated forward crash protection system, even though it comes standard, which is another requirement for TSP+.

BMW AG's i3 electric auto also failed to earn the Top Safety Pick award due to inadequate headlights and seat restraints. The compact electric auto earned only "acceptable" ratings in the head restraint and seat evaluation, which measures a vehicle's ability to prevent neck injuries in a rear-end crash.

The 2 Series has been praised for its body structure integrity receiving a top rating in all crashworthiness tests.

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Tesla Motors Inc.'s new Model S luxury sedans may not be quite as safe as some believe, particularly in a frontal crash, according to tests conducted by an independent safety test organization. In the test, only a portion of the front crash structure of the vehicle is involved and the angle of the auto makes it challenging for automakers to design proper seatbelt and airbag systems to protect the driver.

Conversely, the Volt can go longer in electric-only mode at 53 miles while the Prius tops out at 25 miles.

Most recently the 2017 BMW 2 Series Coupe was awarded a "Top Safety Pick" in the 2017 IIHS TSP/TSP+ in early December 2016.

"We hope Tesla and BMW will continue to refine the designs of their electric models to maximize driver protection and, especially in the case of Tesla, improve their headlights", Zuby said, adding IIHS plans to test Chevrolet's new EV, the Bolt, later this year.

The IIHS tests vehicles in five separate crash scenarios.

The Chevy Volt and the Prius Prime plug-in both scored higher on the IIHS's tests. TSLA is also working on headlights issue of Model S, in contact with the suppliers.

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