It’s only been a few months since Tesla introduced the world to its new-look Model 3, but news out of Australia says it won’t inherit the old model’s five-star safety rating even though they’re fundamentally the same car.
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program, or ANCAP, received information from Tesla that the rating couldn’t be applied to the Model 3 facelift “at this time”.
The reason why the model is now “unrated” is unknown, as the American carmaker nor the vehicle safety body didn’t outline any details upon making the announcement.
Funnily enough, the facelift features more safety features than the old Model 3, such as an additional centre airbag and stronger side-impact performance.
Australian publication CarsGuide reports that the updated EV was recently recalled due to an issue with the child seat tether anchor point in the rear central position, but it’s unknown whether this has anything to do with the removal of its safety rating. No recalls for the facelift Model 3 have been issued in New Zealand.
“ANCAP encourages all consumers and fleet buyers to prioritise the purchase of vehicles which are confirmed to hold a current five-star ANCAP safety rating, ensuring the highest levels of safety,” said Carla Hoorweg, Chief Executive Officer of ANCAP.
It was just last week when ANCAP announced that some of New Zealand’s most popular models now have expired safety ratings, including the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Toyota C-HR, and more. However, that’s because vehicles are required to undergo testing every six years as safety standards change over time.
In the case of the Model 3, the EV was introduced locally in August 2019 which means it has only been on sale for about four and a half years. So it seems then that the facelift has undergone a big enough technical change to warrant the need to be tested again.