IIHS, NHTSA Pull Safety Marks From Tesla Model 3/Y Amid Decision To Drop Radar From Semi-Autonomous Systems: News

The firms' ratings remain in place for vehicles equipped with radar

IIHS, NHTSA Pull Safety Marks From Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Amid Decision To Stop Using Radar In Its Safety Systems: News

The IIHS and NHTSA penalize Tesla in their safety ratings for the company’s decision to remove radar from their driver assistance systems.

As of May, the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 will have a new safety driver’s system that will replace the radar-based system in some vehicles. This decision alarmed the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vehicles built after April 27, 2021 will no longer have IIHS’s “Top Safety Pick Plus” designation. The NHTSA will remove check marks for having forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and emergency brake support on their website.

The IIHS and NHTSA are removing the top scores Tesla once held on their Model Y and Model 3. A new safety system will replace the radar on some of their Model Y and Model 3 vehicles. Tesla has made no recent statement about the IIHS and NHTSA’s decision.

Combined with a short range sensor, “Tesla Vision” uses eight cameras. CEO Elon Musk states this setup, “work better” than the radar system. IIHS confirmed that they removed the Top Safety Pick Plus designation. They did say that the designation remains for vehicles built with radar. IIHS will soon test Tesla’s new system.

IIHS, NHTSA Pull Safety Marks From Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Amid Decision To Stop Using Radar In Its Safety Systems: News
The Tesla Model 3 performed well in its IIHS crash tests. [Image: IIHS]

Here’s what Tesla stated about “Tesla Vision” on their website:

“We are continuing the transition to Tesla Vision, our camera-based Autopilot system. Beginning with deliveries in May 2021, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for the North American market will no longer be equipped with radar. Instead, these will be the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera vision and neural net processing to deliver Autopilot, Full-Self Driving and certain active safety features. Customers who ordered before May 2021 and will receive a car with Tesla Vision will be notified of the change in their Tesla Account prior to delivery. For a short period during this transition, cars with Tesla Vision may be delivered with some features

temporarily limited or inactive, including:

Autosteer will be limited to a maximum speed of 75 mph and a longer minimum following distance.

Smart Summon (if equipped) and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance may be disabled at delivery.”

Some have yet to fully endorse the “Tesla Vision” system.

Other consumer organizations are also penalizing Tesla’s move, and insiders are angered by the decision. These organizations say that Tesla is using its consumers as Beta-testers for their newest safety system. And that they should wait for their system to be fully evaluated by the aforementioned organizations.

So far, neither Tesla nor Elon Musk have directly responded to the rating groups’ decisions to remove top marks from their best-selling vehicles.