Automotive crash testing just got harder in 2024—which OEMs did well?

Enlarge / The Tesla Model Y has earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2024. (credit: IIHS)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has toughened up the tests required to earn one of its coveted Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ awards. The institute has spent the past 65 years investigating automobile safety and putting pressure on manufacturers to concentrate more on implementing safety measures, and with this year’s revision, it wants to see better protection for backseat passengers and better pedestrian detection, among other requirements.

IIHS started crash-testing new vehicles at its facility in Virginia in 1995 after noticing that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s own tests did not best reflect the kinds of crashes happening on American roads. It continues to add new tests or adjust existing ones, in recent years adding a rollover protection test and increasing the speed of the side crash test.

For 2024, a vehicle has to earn either an acceptable or good rating in the moderate front overlap test to earn the Top Safety Pick+ award, and the test now includes a dummy behind the driver.

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