The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just released results of its crash test of four electric and hybrid vehicles.  The plug-in hybrids came out on top.  The two electric cars had some shortcomings.

The four vehicles crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety all got high marks.  But only the Toyota Prius Prime and the Chevy Volt earned the 2017 top safety pick plus award. 

Both cars are plug-in hybrids with front crash prevention systems.  With the Prius, it’s standard on every car.
“The nice thing about the Toyota Prius Prime is that you can get top safety pick plus safety performance without having to choose any options,” said David Zuby of the IIHS.

The all-electric Tesla model s caused some concerns in a front crash test, Zuby pointed out.
“The dummy moved too far forward into the airbag and his head hit against the steering wheel through the airbag.”

The experts did not test it for front crash prevention because tesla is upgrading its software.

BMW’S I3 also fell short of the top award because its seats and head restraints got a lower ranking, Zuby said.
“One of the consequences of front to rear crashes is injury that people commonly refer to as whiplash and we’re trying to make sure the seats and head restraints can prevent those kinds of injuries.”

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety says Tesla and BMW are aware of the problems and are fixing them.

They also say experts have yet to find any safety problems specific to electric or hybrid cars.  They can be just as safe as any other vehicle on the road.

Tesla says model S owners can expect their crash prevention software upgrades to drop into their car computers within the next few weeks.

(Roxana Saberi, CBS News)