Crash Testing Will Get Even Tougher In 2025, Says IIHS

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes it harder every year to earn the organization’s Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards. The group is now outlining the changes to the criteria for 2024, and confirmed to Motor1 the changes it plans to make to the tests for 2025. 

There are significant changes to the IIHS award criteria for this year. For 2024, A good rating from the IIHS is now necessary for the side crash test with a heavier barrier for a TSP or TSP+ award. Previously, the group had separate day and night pedestrian front crash prevention evaluations. Now, it’s combining them into one test with runs in both conditions so that a vehicle can’t excel during just one time of day and get an award. An acceptable or good rating is necessary to be eligible for either honor.

During its front overlap test last year, IIHS began putting a dummy behind the driver. To get a Top Safety Pick+ in 2024, a vehicle must score an acceptable or good rating. The organization is also revising how it scores the small overlap front crash test. The driver- and passenger-side evaluations are now a single category, and the rating is the lower of the two results. All trim levels of a vehicle need to receive good or acceptable scores for the model to be eligible for either award.

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Things are going to be even tougher next year, according to the organization.

“We will raise the bar again with more challenging criteria for 2025 Top Safety Picks, though the updates will be more modest,” IIHS spokesperson Joe Young told Motor1. “The changes will relate to our updated moderate overlap crash test. A good or acceptable rating in that test is one requirement for the 2024 Top Safety Pick+ award. In 2025, the “plus” award will require a good rating, while the regular Top Safety Pick will require an acceptable rating.”

The IIHS award criteria bases its award criteria on the calendar year, not a vehicle’s model year. This means even when 2025 models begin arriving in showrooms later this year, the organization will still use the 2024 rules for testing them. 

So far, there are 22 Top Safety Pick+ winners and 49 vehicles with the Top Safety Pick for 2024. For comparison, there were 28 TSP+ vehicles and 20 TSP models when the IIHS announced its 2023 criteria.

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