“Vehicles with alternative powertrains have come into their own,” IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said in a statement. “There’s no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle.”
The 2019 Model 3 earned “good” ratings, the organization’s best marks, across the board on a number of crash tests, including on the driver-side small overlap front test.
On that measurement, IIHS noted there was a moderate risk of injury to the driver’s lower leg, but no other risk to other body parts.
The Bolt also earned “good” grades in all tests except the passenger-side small overlap test, where it earned an “acceptable” mark. IIHS said that in that test, the passenger’s movement was less than ideal. Its headlights were rated “poor.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has come under scrutiny for past claims about the Model 3’s safety.
NHTSA, the nation’s top auto safety regulator, this year sent him a cease-and-desist letter after he posted a blog in October 2018 claiming the sedan had achieved the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle the agency ever tested.
The regulator said the claims were inconsistent with its advertising guidelines regarding crash ratings and that it would ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the statements were unfair or deceptive acts.