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Tesla Model S fails to receive IIHS top safety designation

Pennsylvania motorists might be surprised to know that the Tesla Model S may not be as safe as the automaker's CEO has proclaimed. Although Elon Musk regularly discusses the luxury vehicle's safety, the Model S failed to receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest rating for crashworthiness in its latest round of crash testing. Funded by auto insurers, the IIHS tests SUVs, trucks and cars of all sizes, and the results are used to determine the organization's Top Safety Pick Plus designees.

In order to qualify for the safety designation, vehicles in each category must pass five safety tests, receive a high rating for front crash prevention and have an "acceptable" or "good" headlight rating. The safety tests measure roof strength, the effectiveness of head restraints and the vehicle's response to three types of crashes.

Although it is offered at a premium price, the all-electric upstart in the luxury car field did not make the cut. In a statement, the vice president for IIHS said that the test dummy moved too far forward and struck its head on the steering wheel during the small overlap test because the seat belt on the Model S wasn't strong enough. The three cars that did pass muster are the Toyota Avalon, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and the Lincoln Continental. Each of these vehicles received the IIHS's top Top Safety Pick Plus designation.

No matter how crashworthy a car is considered to be, the potential for catastrophic injuries exists whenever a collision occurs. People who have been harmed in an accident caused by another driver who was speeding, impaired or negligent in some other fashion might want to have legal help when pursuing compensation for their losses.

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