Audi's E-Tron becomes the first EV to win top safety award (updated)

Tesla's Model 3 also scored a Safety Pick+ Award -- eventually.

The 2019 E-Tron, Audi's flagship electric vehicle, has won the 2019 Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), making it the first electric vehicle to earn such recognition.

The IIHS pointed to the E-Tron's ratings in crash evaluations as well as its front crash prevention features as its reasons for recognizing the Audi. In front collision tests, the vehicle was able to avoid a crash at 25 mph and to reduce its speed by 11mph in a 12mph test. The E-Tron also has static LED headlights with high-beam assist, a feature which automatically switches between high and low beams to help keep other drivers safe.

The award for the E-Tron must gutting for Tesla, however. Tesla's Model X was recognized for its exceptional safety, but the IIHS tests of the Model S didn't go so well. The IIHS began safety testing the Model 3 earlier this week, but just a short time after the company received a slap on the wrist from the United States National Highway Traffic Administration for exaggerating claims about the vehicle's safety.

Update: The IIHS has completed its testing for the Model 3, announcing it also qualified as a Top Safety Pick+.