Luxury Electric Vehicle Crash Safety Ratings


Luxury Electric Vehicle Crash Safety Ratings

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis car accident lawyer. The two popular luxury automakers on the market for electric vehicles today are BMW and Tesla. Recently, the two popular 2017 BMW i3 and Tesla Model S vehicles were tested in a crash safety rating study. These two vehicles fell short of receiving the highest safety ratings by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

IIHS Rates Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S, which starts at $72,500, received the highest crash test ratings by the U.S. government. However, the IIHS performs different types of tests. The institute gave good ratings for this all-electric luxury sedan in four out of their five tests. These tests included a head restraint test and a side impact test. The small overlap frontal crash test gave this model a lower rating. The study found that the seat belt restraint system did not hold the crash dummy in place in the incident of a front corner collision with a telephone or tree while traveling 40 miles per hour. In this type of collision, the seat belt permitted the crash dummy to propel too far forward and hit its head on the steering wheel. This was found unsafe by the institute and Tesla issued a production change in February 2017 to address the defect.

IIHS Rates BMW i3

The BMW i3, which starts at $42,400, received good ratings in four out of the five tests conducted by the IIHS. This vehicle did not receive a good rating in the head restraint test. This test measures how occupants will be protected in the vehicle against neck injuries in a rear-end collision. The U.S. government has not yet released the crash test results for the BMW i3.

Top Safety Pick-Plus

The Tesla Model S and the BMW i3 did not receive the designation for “Top Safety Pick-Plus” by the IIHS. In order to receive this designation, vehicles must have good headlights and meet all the criteria requirements. The BMW i3 received the second-highest rating for its headlights. However, the Tesla Model S received a “poor” score for its headlights.

For 2017 model year electric vehicles, 38 models were awarded the “Top Safety Pick-Plus”. Some of these models include the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius Prime. Both of these vehicles are plug-in hybrids that are trending with consumers today.

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Photograph Attribution: By Brady Holt (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons