Hyundai, Volkswagen and Kia are the leaders in the latest crash safety study

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 24, 2010

In the latest crash safety study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Hyundai Motor Corp. and affiliate Kia Motors, along with Volkswagen AG, had the greatest number of top safety picks.

Hyundai-Kia had nine vehicles that met Institute standards. This ranked them together VW and its luxury brand Audi, which also had nine vehicles among the winners.

Following with eight vehicles each were General Motors Co. and its Chevrolet brand; Ford Motor Co. and its luxury brand Lincoln; and Toyota Motor Corp. and affiliated brands Lexus and Scion. Subaru earned five awards.

No small pickups won the rating while tests on large pickups will be done at a later time. Sixty-six 2011 models earned the nonprofit agency’s “top safety pick” rating, including 40 cars, 25 SUVs and one minivan. Adrian Lund, IIHS' president, said that automakers deserve credit for quickly rising to meet the more challenging criteria and that gives more choices to consumers shopping for a safer new car or SUV.

Tougher criteria in the past two years due to the addition of electronic stability control and a roof strength requirement prompted some automakers to redesign vehicles so they would score higher in the IIHS review.

Kia and Hyundai reversed poor roof crush ratings in 2009 for the Tucson and its small SUV twin, the Kia Sportage. Hyundai also improved the roof on the mid-size Santa Fe SUV and a redesigned mid-sized car: the Sonata.

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