The car was redesigned as the Top Safety Pick + from the Highway Safety Insurance Institute.
The move comes after Tesla announced that, as of May 1, its Model 3 and Model Y SUVs have replaced the radar system it used to detect obstacles with a camera system it calls “Tesla Vision”.
A statement from Tesla posted on its website said, “These will be the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera vision and neural net processing to deliver autopilot, full self-driving and certain safety features.” Tesla did not respond to a request for comment on the change rating design.
The change in technology has prompted the US Federal Highway Safety Regulatory Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to reduce the list of vehicles with automatic braking or crash warning systems and, in turn, have triggered three consumer feedback ratings.
Consumers report in a post on its website that “To be considered for Consumer Reports Top Pick, the vehicle must be instructed and have automatic warning and standard emergency warning warnings. Without those features, the Model 3 overall rating would drop to 75 out of 78.”
Tesla Model Y – Non-recommended vehicle, reduced from 50 to 47.
Jake Fisher, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Center, said he was surprised Tesla would react to the radar.
“In general, more sensors will be more useful,” he told CNN. “But I can not decide whether it will be better or worse.”
He said it was “disappointing” and “unusual” for the automaker to abandon safety features. “I do not understand why they want it, unless there are other reasons, such as there are parties,” he said.
Fisher said the Federal Reserve changes triggered consumer reporting, not any self-testing.
A statement from the NHTSA stated in its statement that “NHTSA only includes transmissions for technologies in the form of vehicles that have been inspected by the NHTSA or reported by the vehicle manufacturer to meet NHTSA compliance standards.” “We removed the scanner because we did not have test results for Tesla’s changes.”
IIHS says it plans to conduct tests on the new camera system, and it is possible that it will be able to reclassify the new camera.
A spokesman for IIHS said: “Tesla has informed us directly of the changes they are planning, and we have informed them that we must test the camera system before extending the Top Safety Pick + award to vehicles with that system,” it said. It does not exist rating in Model Y.