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Tesla Model 3 regains top safety pick designations

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety acted after new tests of the camera-based front-crash prevention system that comes with certain Tesla Model 3s. Consumer Reports followed suit.

Tesla’s Model 3 sedan has regained its top safety pick designations from two key groups after losing them recently.
Tesla’s Model 3 sedan has regained its top safety pick designations from two key groups after losing them recently.
David Zalubowski / AP

Tesla’s Model 3 has regained its top safety pick designations from two key groups after losing them recently.

In May, Consumer Reports pulled its “Top Pick” status for Tesla’s Model 3 and Y vehicles built after April 27. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety planned to remove the vehicles’ “Top Safety Pick Plus” designation.

The U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was no longer giving the Models 3 and Y check marks on its website for having forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and emergency brake support.

That prompted the ratings groups’ actions. Both require electronic safety systems for the top safety designations.

But now the insurance industry group says it recently completed new evaluations of the camera-based, front-crash prevention system that comes with certain Tesla Model 3 vehicles. The camera-only system earned a superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention and an advanced rating for pedestrian front crash prevention.

The group said the new ratings mean that the 2021 “Top Safety Pick Plus” extends to all Model 3s.

It hasn’t completed tests of the 2021 Tesla Model Y.

Consumer Reports said that, due to the Insurance Institute’s recent evaluations of Tesla’s new camera-based system on its Model 3 and Consumer Reports’ prior integration of IIHS ratings into its recommendations, it was restoring its Top Pick rating to the Model 3.