Tesla’s Model S has failed to get the top rating in an important crash test. It failed to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick rating, the requirement of which is a “good” rating in all five of its crash test scenarios.
Just when its Model 3 was all set to go live in the market, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety failed the model despite changes having been made after January. The Model S was only able to attain an acceptable rating in the small-overlap test conducted in February. That test mimics a car hitting a tree or a pole.
Car makers often request a retest if they fall short of the highest rating the first time.
The reason for failure, according to IIHS, was the safety belt not being able to sufficiently restrain the driver in the crash.
“The main problem with the performance of the Model S was that the safety belt let the dummy’s torso move too far forward, allowing the dummy’s head to strike the steering wheel hard through the airbag,” IIHS said.
The model had some structural issues in the second crash test too, IIHS said.
In April, Tesla called back 53,000 vehicles to address a manufacturing defect that could prevent the parking brake from releasing, but there were no reports of injuries or accidents related to the issue.
The company was also investigated for a fatal crash in May 2016 involving a driver of a Model S using the Tesla’s autopilot feature. But investigators found the driver was warned repeatedly for not keeping his hands on the steering wheel, and no safety defect was found.
Watch the video here: https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-model-s-crash-test-safety-iihs/