The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced the vehicles that qualified for its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards for 2023. The Tesla Model Y is one of them, despite the agency updating its standards this year to make them more stringent.
Thanks to the IIHS’ new criteria, only 48 models qualified for the agency’s 2023 awards. Among this number, 28 were able to earn a Top Safety Pick+ and 20 were able to achieve a Top Safety Pick rating. In comparison, there were 101 winners in the past year, which included 65 models that earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating.
IIHS President David Harkey explained the agency’s test results this year. “The number of winners is smaller this year because we’re challenging automakers to build on the safety gains they’ve already achieved. These models are true standouts in both crashworthiness and crash prevention,” Harkey said.
Among the most notable changes made to the IIHS’ standards involved the agency’s side crash test, which was updated to involve 82% more energy than before. A new evaluation, the nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test, was also rolled out.
Harkey explained the addition of the nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test in the IIHS’ metrics. “US traffic fatalities hit a 20-year high in the first half of 2022, in part due to a steady climb in pedestrian crashes. Safer vehicles can be an important part of the solution, even though reversing the trend will also take a concerted effort from policymakers and other stakeholders,” he said.
Despite these changes, the Tesla Model Y still earned the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ rating, making it one of three all-electric vehicles that earned stellar marks this year. Other all-electric cars that received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS include the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Rivian R1T.
A look at the Tesla Model Y’s page on the IIHS shows that the all-electric crossover scored a “Good” rating on the agency’s updated side-impact test. The Model Y also aced the IIHS’ nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test.
Interestingly enough, the IIHS announced that it was sunsetting three of its previous safety evaluations from its award criteria. These are roof strength, head restraint, and vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention tests. As noted by the IIHS, the retirement of the “roof strength, head restraint, and vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention tests is also a result of industry progress, which has made these tests less relevant in their current form.”
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