The 2021 Tesla Model Y shown here, and the 2022 model, have been named Top Safety Pick+ winners. - Photo courtesy of IIHS.

The 2021 Tesla Model Y shown here, and the 2022 model, have been named Top Safety Pick+ winners.

Photo courtesy of IIHS.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has bestowed its highest safety recognition — a Top Safety Pick+ award — on the 2021-22 Tesla Model Y. The award applies to Model Y’s built after April 2021.

The midsize luxury SUV was put through the paces, earning good scores in six rigorous crashworthiness evaluations. These included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength, and head restraint tests.

But IIHS engineers demand far more for vehicles to earn “plus” status. For example, the vehicle must be available with a front crash prevention system that earns advanced or superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.

The Model Y did not disappoint. It boasts a standard front crash prevention system that garnered superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. 

But IIHS expect even more when it comes to safety. Headlights are where vehicles often fall short. To capture a Top Safety Pick+, good or acceptable headlights must be standard across all trims.

Here again, the Model Y met the stringent criteria. It’s two available headlight systems earn good and acceptable ratings — giving the SUV the final element it needed to drive away with IIHS’s highest safety accolade.

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