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Tesla Model 3 earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus

It's only the second electric car to take the top honors.

Move over, Audi E-Tron, because there's another Top Safety Pick Plus in town with an electric powertrain. The IIHS has awarded the Tesla Model 3 with a Top Safety Pick Plus, which represents the highest honor from the insurance industry-funded safety group.

The E-Tron electric crossover was previously the first and only fully electric vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick Plus, but joins the exclusive group following the latest news. Top Safety Pick Plus vehicles must earn a "Good" rating in all six crashworthiness tests, including the most difficult small-overlap front test on the passenger side. Anything less than a "Good" rating automatically rules it out of contention for the honor.

The Model 3 earned a "Superior" rating for its standard frontal-crash avoidance technology and also avoided a crash at both 12 mph and 25 mph. With the rating, it moved onto headlight tests, which often prove a car's downfall for any IIHS awards.

All Model 3 electric cars come standard with an LED reflector headlight, which the IIHS rated "Good." Top Safety Pick Plus winners must earn a "Good" rating for headlights, though an "Acceptable" rating will keep it in the running for a normal Top Safety Pick award. Vehicles often only offer the "Good" or "Acceptable" headlights on pricier trims. While the Model 3's headlights aren't curve adaptive, they do feature high-beam assist.

On the news, Tesla said "We're also committed to making our cars even safer over time via over-the-air updates." The company added the updates ensure owners have access to "the best safety features available for their cars."

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sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.

Updated Sept. 19, 2019 8:20 a.m. PT

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Written by  Sean Szymkowski
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sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
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