Tesla Model 3 regains Consumer Reports 'Top Pick' rating following IIHS retest

But Model Y is still on the bench

The Tesla Model 3 is back on top.

Consumer Reports has reinstated the electric sedan's Top Pick rating after suspending it in May when Tesla changed a key safety technology.

Tesla had announced that it had updated the car's electronic driver aids to no longer use radar for several features, including automatic emergency braking, and would instead rely solely on cameras and ultrasonic sensors. It also announced that some functions might not be available as before on existing cars until the new software was finalized.

As a result, the IIHS took the Model 3 off of its Top Safety Pick Plus list until it could retest the vehicle with the new system. The new evaluation has now been completed and the Model 3 passed with flying colors, scoring the same results as before.

These results are the same as those the IIHS got when it tested an earlier Model 3 with radar, says David Aylor, manager of active safety testing at the IIHS. "The performance seems to be similar for both systems," David Aylor, manager of IIHS active safety testing, told Consumer Reports.


However, the Tesla Model Y, which is related to the Model 3 and was also demoted by both organizations, has not yet been retested and remains off of their top lists.

Tesla has eschewed the use of radar and lidar for its partially-automated driving functions, including its Full Self-Driving feature, in favor of what it calls Tesla Vision, which uses eight cameras located around the vehicle.