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Tesla Model S Has Major Issues In IIHS Crash Test

Tesla has long talked about how safe their cars are, but a recent IIHS crash test shows that the Model S may not be as safe a car as we initially thought.

On Thursday, the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety released the results of a series of crash tests in which the Tesla Model S received “only an acceptable rating.” Two other sedans, the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala, also obtain the same rating.

The test is designed to simulate what happens to the front driver side in the event of a collision. Of the cars tested, the Lincoln Continental, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the Toyota Avalon scored highest overall.

In the crash test, the seatbelt in the Model S was not effective and could lead to the driver’s head striking the steering wheel through a fully deployed airbag.


In order to obtain a perfect rating in the IIHS test, vehicles must have a frontal crash prevention system with automatic braking to prevent a possible rear-end collision.

The vehicles must be able to stop or slow down without driver intervention before hitting a target at 12 or 25 MPH, amongst other factors.

Tesla release a statement disputing the IIHS ratings system, stating:

“IIHS and dozens of other private industry groups around the world have methods and motivations that suit their own subjective purposes.”

Tesla says that the most objective and accurate safety testing is performed by the US government as opposed to the IIHS, which is the research branch of the insurance industry. In government tests, the Tesla Model S and X rated as having the lowest probability of injury of any cars that have ever been tested.

I suppose it’s easy to see why Tesla would balk at the IIHS test and instead turn to the government sanctioned test.

Tony Hsieh

Cars, the Buffalo Bills, video games, comics, sandwiches, jelly beans, and the shooting star press; these are the things that Tony loves (in addition to his family, of course). When he's not spending his time writing tech reviews for, Tony puts his lifetime love of muscle cars to use on his 2015 Mustang GT. Tony's top three favorite cars are the 1973 Mustang Mach 1, Ferrari 458, and Aston Martin DBS.

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