The results of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety test for the Tesla Model Y were officially announced. Building on the achievements of the Tesla Model 3, the Model Y received TOP SAFETY PICK+ certification.
The IIHS is one of several organizations conducting independent vehicle safety testing. Therefore, their TOP SAFETY PICK+ certification is usually regarded as an indicator of great reference value. The Tesla Model Y, a bestseller in 2021, has now finally completed all testing and results made public.
The results were not unexpected. Similar to the Tesla Model 3, the Model Y also successfully obtained the highest score of “Good” in almost all categories with headlights and safety seats receiving an “Acceptable” rating. A small points deducting was applied to the safety seat because the lower buckle was inset too deeply.
Relying on powerful software, Tesla demonstrated excellent performance in preventing forward collisions and pedestrian accidents. More importantly, in the crash test assessment of auto body structure, the Model Y succeeded in minimizing damage and was awarded an overall rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+, the highest rating given by IIHS.
Obtaining the latest safety certification may be just icing on the cake for the Model Y, since it has already sold out. On the other hand, this is also further recognition of the new Tesla Vision system adopted by Tesla. After Tesla removed some of the sensors on the Model 3/Y body this year, it adopted a purely visual approach to assist driving. The safety certification agencies had once removed their original ratings but now it has been confirmed that Tesla can achieve the same active safety effect just by relying on cameras.
As IIHS test criteria are quite strict, not all new cars and electric cars will receive the TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating. According 2020 to 2021 findings, not many electric vehicles received this highest rating. Only six models, the Tesla Model 3/Model Y, Audi e-tron/Sportsback, Volkswagen ID.4 and Hyundai Nexo (hydrogen vehicle) were awarded TOP SAFETY PICK+.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E received a poor evaluation in the headlight category, so it only received the second highest rating, TOP SAFETY PICK (no +). However, it still performed well in impact testing and active safety. In addition, many electric vehicles may not have participated in testing or relevant results may not have been announced due to time, budget, and availability considerations, some examples include the Model X, Porsche Taycan, Benz EQC, and Volkswagen ID.3.
However, almost all cars that do not participate in IIHS testing undergo crash tests in the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) and almost all electric cars in the past 2 years have received 5 star ratings. Except for a small number of electric cars such as the Renault Zoe, Honda e, Fiat 500e (that do not look very resistant to crashes at first glance), other electric cars (even the Taycan and Toyota Mirai, which do not look too robust) are all rated five-star in safety.
Of course, the IIHS safety rating cannot represent everything. Even equipped with high-end intelligent driver assist, a small car will not be able to withstand the impact of heavier vehicles, no matter how high its safety rating. It can provide people who are interested in buying a car with a way to look for models with higher safety factors within the scope of their own needs.
In addition, due to the relatively complicated distribution system of gas vehicles, many models that have obtained safety certifications in Europe and the United States may not have the exact same specifications when sold in Taiwan. Consumers must do their homework before buying a car to avoid disappointment. Taiwan’s own crash test T-NCAP is expected to start in 2023.