Why Tesla Model 3 Missed IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Status and Potential for Future Qualification

There is a reason it did not make the list, and there’s a reason why it could be included in it in the near future.

The IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award is the pinnacle of automotive crash safety accolades. It means the vehicle obtained top marks in the small overlap front test and updated side test, and at least an acceptable rating in the updated moderate overlap front test, headlight standard, and pedestrian front crash prevention test.

Twenty-two vehicles made the list this year, and only one Tesla, the Model Y, was awarded.

Some people might have scrolled down to look for other Teslas, especially the Model 3, on even the Top Safety Pick list, which is still an accomplishment. However, it was not on there either.

The Model 3 was listed on the Top Safety Pick+ awards in 2020, 2021, and 2022. However, it did not make the list in 2023 or 2024, and there is a reason for that.

“It actually comes down to missing tests,” Joe Young of the IIHS told Teslarati this morning. “The Model 3 has not been evaluated in our updated side crash test, which is a requirement for both awards this year. It is also missing a rating in our updated moderate overlap crash test, which is part of the “plus” criteria.”

Simply put, the Model 3 has not been evaluated for certain crash tests, and the IIHS cannot add it to the list without those assessments being performed.

However, it is not the end of the world.

“It’s possible that the 2024 Model 3 could earn an award later in the year as we fill out additional ratings. We’ll be issuing awards throughout the year as more tests are complete,” Young added.

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