The 2019 Hyundai Veloster, a small car, is the latest vehicle to earn a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The award applies to Velosters with specific headlights that were built after August 2018.
Despite overall good crashworthiness, one IIHS test uncovered a problem with the driver-side door. Hyundai has addressed the issue in Velosters built after January 2019 and has initiated a recall on cars produced before the change.
The Veloster, which was redesigned for 2019 after a one-year absence from the market, has an unusual door configuration, with two conventionally hinged doors on the passenger side and only one door on the driver side. In the first of two side tests, the driver door opened during the crash, which could lead to occupant ejection in a crash. Hyundai modified the door beginning with models built after January, and in a second side crash test the door stayed closed. Velosters built before Hyundai began implementing these modifications on the production line must have the recall completed to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award. The recall applies to models built before February.
The Veloster earns an acceptable rating for the premium headlights that come on the Turbo, Turbo Ultimate and Turbo R-Spec trims of vehicles built after August 2018. Earlier models created excessive glare for oncoming drivers and earn a poor rating. The Veloster's base headlights also earn a poor rating.
The Veloster earns superior ratings for both its standard and optional front crash prevention systems, both of which avoided collisions in IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph. Only the optional system, however, includes a forward collision warning component that meets criteria set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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 front crash prevention and a good or acceptable headlight rating.