For electric vehicles, Engineering workers talk about getting rid of a big piece of metal that is the internal engine. It is the internal combustion engine located in front of the passenger compartment and not having to include that is quite sensational. It allows for smarter packaging and also extra space for crash-energy absorption.
They clearly boast that it makes for superlative occupant protection. However, in the results of a new crash test, the Tesla Model S didn’t exactly manage to deliver on that promise. During testing with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Model S under-delivered in a few areas and was, therefore, denied a place in the Top Safety Pick Honor Roll of the organization.
The demerits came with a second-best Acceptable rating during the small-overlap front crash test, dismal headlight performance along with an asterisk which includes the top P100D from the top Good-roof strength or rollover protection rating. It is in major contrast to the 2013 results delivered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It gave the Model S a top 5-star rating in every category as well as a subcategory. During that time, the results were touted by Tesla as being the highest score for any vehicle which was ever tested in the Federal Vehicle Safety Score System.
In the recently released IIHS test, the highest concern were the results from the small overlap test, which simulates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides at 40 miles per hour with another fixed object or vehicle like a tree or a utility pole. The results will continue with Model S cars that were built after 2016 October when the side curtained airbags were lengthened by Tesla for better coverage and crashes of this kind.
The group which never tested the Model S before reported that the head would hit the steering wheel through the airbag, thereby making head injuries possible, along with injuries to the lower right leg. While electric cars carry hundreds of pounds of batteries, placed low, and they improve the center of mass of the vehicle, making it more stable in the process.
The highlights of the roof-strength test indicate that they can become a liability in a crash like that. The roof of the fastest P100D version along with its extra battery weight can’t put enough of a fight which applies to the other versions.
It was noted by the IIHS that Tesla is closely working with the company’s suppliers to have the headlights improved and to make changes to the seatbelt arrangement of the car which might further improve the frontal test results. The ratings of the Model S are part of a new group of results which were released by IIHS this week.
It includes comprehensive ratings for four plug-in models. While the Toyota Prius Prime and the Chevrolet Volt are both plug-in hybrids, they still managed to achieve spots on the Top Safety Pick + Honor Roll, but only the BMW i3 and the Model S didn’t do that well.
The BMW i3 makes use of a carbon fiber reinforced plastic body shell, which earned the score of good in the four dynamic vehicle crash categories.
It came with the small overlap front crash test, but it missed the mark in two categories which were head restraints, head lights while receiving Acceptable ratings as well. Till now, Nissan Leaf is the only other car tested by IIHS, that was also conceived from the start as an EV.