IIHS Safety Ratings Changing In 2023

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 25, 2022

Automakers have finally started to update the headlights on their vehicles, leading to 65 models earning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award. Last year, only 49 vehicles earned the institute’s highest awards. It’s good news for shoppers, as they have more safe vehicles to choose from than ever before. For 2023, the IIHS will be making some changes to its safety ratings to ensure automakers keep pushing themselves to achieve an award.

The IIHS will be adding two new evaluations to its award requirements. A new nighttime pedestrian crash prevention test will be added for 2023. Vehicles must earn an “Advanced” or “Superior” rating in the test to earn a Top Safety Pick+ award. This test will not be a part of testing for the Top Safety Pick award.

Another major change for 2023 is that the IIHS will be using its updated side test that was introduced in 2021 instead of the current original side test. Compared to the original side test, the updated side test utilizes a heavier movable barrier and is conducted at a higher speed. To earn a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating in this test. A “Good” rating is required for a Top Safety Pick+ award.

Lastly, vehicles must come with standard headlights that earn a “Good” or “Acceptable” rating across all trims to earn an award from the institute.

“Manufacturers deserve congratulations for the steady improvements they’ve made since we last updated our award requirements, but with U.S. traffic fatalities expected to exceed 40,000 people in 2021, it’s no time for anybody to rest on their laurels,” says Harkey. “A key reason vehicles have continued to get safer over the more than 25 years since the Institute began our ratings program is that we have never shied away from raising the bar. The high number of Top Safety Pick+ winners shows that it’s time to push for additional changes.”

This isn’t the first time the IIHS has changed its tests and we’re sure it won’t be the last time, either. The organization comes out with new tests and scores that are harder to achieve based on its research. For example, the IIHS recently put out a report at the beginning of February that stated pedestrian crash avoidance systems performed poorly at night. Now, we’re learning that organization is adding a new nighttime pedestrian crash prevention test for 2023. The IIHS usually comes out with new scores and ratings based on real-world issues that it finds. For shoppers, these changes force automakers to continually make safer cars, as an award from the IIHS is something to brag about.

Out of all of the automakers that the IIHS has tested for the 2022 model year, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis have the most Top Safety Pick+ and Top Safety Pick awards. Combined, the three brands, which all fit neatly under the Hyundai umbrella, have a total of 21 winners. Volkswagen Group, which includes Volkswagen and Audi, has a total of 11 award winners. As far as individual automakers, Volvo leads the way forward with 10 Top Safety Pick+ awards.

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Pictured: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Crash Test

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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