IIHS Test Pushes Consumer Reports to Award Top Pick Status to Model 3

Consumer Reports has reinstated the 2021 Tesla Model 3 with pure vision Autopilot as a “Top Pick” after a top safety designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Tesla is no longer equipping Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs with radar sensors, instead choosing a camera-based system called Tesla Vision. At the time the Tesla Vision-equipped Model 3 and Model Y went on sale, the technology’s forward crash warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) performance had not yet been independently tested.

“Given the IIHS’ recent evaluations of Tesla’s new camera-based system on its Model 3 and consistent with CR’s integration of IIHS ratings into our recommendations, CR is restoring the car’s Top Pick status,” Jake Fisher, senior director of CR’s Auto Test Center, said in a post.

The Model Y has not been formally tested by the IIHS, but it will likely go the way of the Model 3, leading to a Top Pick from Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports admitted the recent testing process has had difficult timing.

“While we are very glad to see the system performs well in preventing crashes, ideally consumers would not have been in a holding pattern, waiting to find out if the car they purchased has vital safety features,” Fisher said.

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