Here’s why the Tesla Model 3 wasn’t an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, and why it could be soon

Credit: Tesla | X

Upon the release of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award winners, some Tesla fans may have struggled to understand why the Model 3 did not join its sibling, the Model Y, on the list.

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.

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2024

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.

Why didn’t the Tesla Model 3 make the list?

“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.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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