Tesla often touts that its cars are really safe, but the company has just received a specific recognition of that safety for the first time ever: the Model 3 was just awarded “top safety pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Model S had previously fallen short of earning top marks from IIHS, and the Model X was never tested by the nonprofit group,
The Model 3 is the second battery electric car to earn the award, as Audi’s E-Tron was the first to earn the honor back in August. Like the E-Tron, the Model 3 earned “good” ratings in all categories, which is the best distinction the IIHS gives out. The Model 3 was only really dinged in two places. IIHS said that pre-June 2018 versions of the car only had “acceptable” headlights. And on all models, the group said there’s a “moderate risk of injury to the left lower leg” of the driver in head-on crashes that overlap with the driver’s side of the vehicle (which IIHS says is one of the most challenging tests).
Tesla’s automatic emergency braking system also performed well, according to the IIHS, avoiding collisions in both the 12 mph and 25 mph tests.
In a blog post, Tesla took pride in how the Model 3’s all-glass roof held up during the IIHS tests, and also pointed to the fact that its seats — which are designed in-house — helped the car score such high marks.
“The safety of our customers is what matters most, which is why our active safety features and passive safety equipment come standard on all of our cars,” the company wrote.
Full results, videos, and photos of IIHS’s test of the Model 3 can be found on the nonprofit group’s website.