The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has awarded three new EVs with its top award, the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
The three EVs that garnered the award are the 2023 models of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, Lexus RZ, and Genesis Electrified GV70.
A Top Safety Pick award requires that the vehicle score a top rating in all six of the IIHS’ crash tests: driver- and passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint tests. It also must have an “advanced” or “superior” front crash avoidance system that activates to help inattentive drivers prevent vehicle or pedestrian crashes.
Pedestrian safety is particularly important lately, as a shift towards larger vehicles has resulted in a sharp increase in pedestrian deaths in recent years.
Then, beyond these tests, to earn the “plus” rating, the vehicle must meet additional requirements for headlight quality, and the headlights must be standard across all trims.
All three of the vehicles met IIHS’ high standards and thus attained Top Safety Pick+ ratings. Specifically, the Electrified GV70 earned “advanced” ratings in both the daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention evaluations. The Ioniq 6 and the Lexus RZ earned “superior” ratings in these two tests. Meanwhile, the GV70 headlights got a “good” rating, while the Ioniq 6 and RZ have “acceptable” headlights.
The IIHS is one of the US’ main automotive safety rating organizations, along with the NHTSA. While the NHTSA is a government agency, IIHS is a private organization funded by insurance companies. Europe has its own rating agency, Euro NCAP.
IIHS and NHTSA ratings have similar goals, but the organizations use different testing procedures and will occasionally reach different results. The IIHS views its work as complementary to NHTSA’s, augmenting the government agency’s five-star rating system with additional crash testing information. IIHS tells consumers that they should look for 4+ stars in government testing and either a “good” or “Top Safety Pick” recommendation from themselves.
None of these three vehicles have yet been rated by the NHTSA, so those ratings will likely come later.
Several other electric vehicles have won the Top Safety Pick+ award, including the Rivian R1T/R1S, Kia EV6, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Tesla Model 3/Y, Audi e-tron, and others. You can search for awarded vehicles on IIHS’ website and see a full breakdown of IIHS’ testing procedures.
If you’d like to see videos of these beautiful EVs being smashed to smithereens, here they are (content warning: EVs being harmed 😭).
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