Tesla Model Y has received IIHS' 2023 Top Safety Pick+ award. This year, the criteria were particularly stringent, with only 28 vehicles tested receiving the award.
In 2023, the IIHS developed stricter safety criteria for vehicles as the organization encourages automakers to build on their advances in vehicle safety. While there were 101 winners last year, this number has dropped to 48 in 2023. However, only 28 of them took home the toughest Top Safety Pick+ award.
“The number of winners is smaller this year because we're challenging automakers to build on the safety gains they've already achieved,”said IIHS President David Harkey. “These models are true standouts in both crashworthiness and crash prevention.”
Tesla Model Y was one of the 28 Top Safety Pick+ winners, showing excellent results across all criteria. The vehicle was categorized as a mid-size luxury SUV, which included 8 other vehicles.
Changes to this year's tests include a more difficult side impact test. According to the IIHS, the new evaluation involves 82% more impact energy than the original side impact test. They also raised their headlight rating criteria for the Top Safety Pick award, requiring all trim levels of the winning vehicle to be rated “acceptable” or “good.” Previously, a car could win an award if one trim level performed well in the evaluation.
The organization has also added a night-time frontal collision avoidance test to the Top Safety Pick+ award criteria. Many advanced safety systems, including automatic braking, do not work well after sunset, however some cars, including Tesla Model Y, have shown top results.
In addition to the new tests, award-winning vehicles must continue to excel in moderate overlap front crash tests, as well as both driver- and passenger-side small overlap front crash tests. The organization removed its previous roof strength, vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention, and head restraint evaluations from this year's award benchmarks. To qualify for an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must earn a “good” rating in both driver- and passenger-side small overlap front tests, plus the moderate overlap front test. They must also achieve a “good” rating in the new side crash tests, a score of “good” or “acceptable” in the organization's headlight evaluation, and an “advanced” or “superior” rating in both daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.