On Tuesday, the IIHS said that it gave the Model 3 electric car its highest rating of “Superior” in its front crash prevention tests and an “Acceptable” rating for its headlights which produced some glare while set at low beam. The Model 3 has not yet been crash-tested by the IIHS or the federal government, however.
The IIHS gives three ratings for forward collision avoidance systems. It verifies whether car has a forward collision warning system that meets the standards of the NHTSA, with an adequate alert to the driver when the crash is imminent. Cars that meet the requirement get one point.
The insurance industry-funded group then tests the car’s automatic emergency braking system in a low-speed crash scenario, where the car approaches a stationary target at 12 mph. If the system stops the car before hitting the target, or reduces its speed by at least 5 mph, the IIHS awards another point. If it reduces the speed by 10 mph or more, it awards two points.
Then the IIHS repeats the second test at 25 mph and awards an additional three points if the car avoids a collision or reduces the impact speed by 22 mph or more, two points for 10 to 21 mph, or one point for 5 to 9 mph.
A score of one point earns a rating of “Basic” for the front crash prevention test, a score of 2 to 4 points rates “Advanced,” and a score of 5 or 6 rates “Superior.”
The Model 3 received the maximum of six points in the three tests, earning the system a “Superior” rating.