Tesla's Model 3 sedan has received the "top safety pick plus" designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the nonprofit organization announced on Thursday.
That makes the Model 3 the second electric vehicle to receive the IIHS' highest safety rating, after the Audi e-tron SUV.
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To earn a "top safety pick plus," rating, a vehicle must perform well in a variety of crash tests. The vehicle must receive a "good" rating in tests related to its front, side, roof, and head restraints, an "advanced" or "superior" rating for front crash prevention and a "good" rating for its headlights.
"Vehicles with alternative powertrains have come into their own," IIHS chief research officer David Zuby said in a press release. "There's no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle."
The Model 3, released in 2017, has also earned the highest safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with Tesla's prior two vehicles, the Model S sedan and Model X SUV. But NHTSA and Tesla have butted heads over the electric-car maker's claim that the Model 3 is the safest car the agency has tested. Last October, NHTSA sent Tesla a cease-and-desist letter telling it to stop making that claim.
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