The IIHS must be causing headaches for some manufacturers these days when it comes to headlight testing. The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon is the latest model to miss out on a Top Safety Pick award due to headlights the IIHS deems "Poor." It must be especially frustrating for VW as the Arteon earned a "Good" rating in six crash test categories the IIHS evaluated.
Despite having three different headlight configurations, every version returned the exact same "Poor" rating from the IIHS. All of the Arteon's headlights were LED, which also makes the "Poor" rating surprising as most IIHS headlight testing finds that LEDs outperform halogens when equipped to the same vehicle. But the Arteon lights had a variety of issues such as the base, static LED lights with "deficiencies in visibility," and the curve adaptive LEDs (with and without automatic high-beams) having "excessive glare."
If just one of the headlight options received an "Acceptable" rating, the Arteon would've received a Top Safety Pick award. The sedan's front crash prevention system performed well in testing, too. It managed to avoid collisions at both 12 mph and 25 mph, earning the Arteon a superior rating in that department.
It's a shame to see a car that crashes so well miss out on the recognition, but headlights are a major component to how safe a car is to drive at night. We wouldn't be surprised if VW tries to revise the lighting setup soon in order to earn one of those coveted TSP or TSP+ awards many automakers tout.