The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV headlight rating is updated from Poor to Acceptable, which allowed the Bolt EV to earn Top Safety Pick award

Chevrolet Bolt EV proved its high safety in the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) tests in September, but as it turns out, those results didn't fully reflect the actual performance of its headlights.

IIHS rated the Bolt's headlights as "Poor" because they cause too much glare. It cost the Bolt a Top Safety Pick award.

Now, the IIHS says that the headlight rating was carried over from the 2017 model year (as there was no input from GM about a change).

When GM saw a missed opportunity, it reported to IIHS that since 2018 the lights were improved and new tests of the 2019 model year confirmed those improvements.

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV (and 2018 model year since March 2018) headlights do not cause too much glare. The modified lights earn an acceptable rating while the Bolt EV can enjoy the well-deserved Top Safety Pick award (just like the Audi e-tron and Tesla Model 3) when equipped with optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention.

"When the new passenger-side small overlap crash test rating was released in September, the Bolt was not named a Top Safety Pick because the poor headlight rating the car received in the 2017 model year had been carried forward to later years based on information provided by General Motors. Following the September release, however, GM reported that the headlight aim had been adjusted during the 2018 model year to reduce glare. A new test confirmed that GM's change had addressed the glare issue, and the modified lights earn an acceptable rating. The new rating applies to all 2019 models and 2018 models built after March 2018."

"The Bolt earns a superior rating for its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, which avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 and 25 mph."

Requirements for a 2019 Top Safety Pick award:

  • good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests,

  • a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test

  • an advanced or superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention

  • a good or acceptable headlight rating.

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Chevrolet Bolt earns safety award with updated headlight rating

November 12, 2019

The 2019 Chevrolet Bolt, a small car, earns a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when equipped with optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention.

The 2019 Bolt was recently tested for the first time in the passenger-side small overlap crash test, earning an acceptable rating. The Bolt earns good ratings in five other crashworthiness evaluations — the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

When the new passenger-side small overlap crash test rating was released in September, the Bolt was not named a Top Safety Pick because the poor headlight rating the car received in the 2017 model year had been carried forward to later years based on information provided by General Motors. Following the September release, however, GM reported that the headlight aim had been adjusted during the 2018 model year to reduce glare. A new test confirmed that GM's change had addressed the glare issue, and the modified lights earn an acceptable rating. The new rating applies to all 2019 models and 2018 models built after March 2018.

The Bolt earns a superior rating for its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, which avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 and 25 mph.

To qualify for a 2019 Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap front test. It also needs an advanced or superior rating for vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention and a good or acceptable headlight rating.

With the addition of the Bolt, three all-electric vehicles qualify for a 2019 safety award.