Subaru recognized as the only manufacturer will all vehicles rated a ‘Top Safety Pick’

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recognized Subaru of America, Inc. as the only carmaker with all vehicles awarded as a TOP SAFETY PICK. The TOP SAFETY PICK is given to vehicles that received "good" ratings on crash evaluations on the front, side, rear and during rollover.

"Good" is the highest rating IIHS given for a vehicle that underwent its tests. Moreover, to be named as TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle should have electronic stability control. IIHS president Adrian Lund quipped that Subaru is the only carmaker with a TOP SAFETY PICK vehicle in every class where it is competing.

He noted that TOP SAFETY PICK vehicles are the "cream of the crop" for protecting people in the most common types of crashes and they feature electronic stability control that helps drivers avoid crashes. IIHS bases its frontal evaluations on the outcomes of 40mph frontal offset crash tests.

Overall frontal evaluation considers: the amount of intrusion into the occupant compartment; the amount of injury logged on a Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat; and an analysis of slow-motion film to determine how much the restraint system was able to control the movement of the Hybrid III during the test.

Meanwhile, IIHS bases its side evaluation on the outcome of a crash test wherein the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier – representing the front end of a pickup or an SUV -- moving at 31 mph. Overall side evaluation considers: the amount of injury recorded on two instrumented SID-IIs dummies (representing a small woman); the evaluation of head protection countermeasures; and the structural performance of vehicle during the impact.

Rear evaluation, on the other hand, is determined in two phases. First, side evaluation considers the measurements of head restraint geometry, including the height of a restraint as well as its horizontal distance on the back of the head of an average sized man. Those seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are then assessed using a dummy that gauges forces on the neck – simulating a collision wherein a non-moving vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph.

Those seats with no good or acceptable geometry get poor overall rear evaluation ratings since they can't be positioned to protect rear occupants. Meanwhile, rollover evaluation is determined by the strength-to-weight ratio. This test entails pushing a metal plate against one side of a roof at a constant speed. A good rating is given when the roof is able to withstand four times the vehicle's weight before reaching five inches of crush (strength-to-weight ratio of 5).

An acceptable rating is given if the strength-to-weight ratio is 3.25 while a marginal rating is granted if the value is 2.5. Anything lower than 2.5 is rated poor. Tom Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Subaru of America, Inc., remarked that they are pleased to be the only car with all vehicles named a TOP SAFETY PICK, adding that this feat is a tribute to the engineering of Subaru vehicles.

He added that the recognition from the IIHS assures their customers that Subaru maintains the highest standards when producing safe, reliable and durable as well as fun-to-drive vehicles.

Press Release

Subaru Recognized as the Only Manufacturer with All Vehicles Rated a TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that it has been recognized as the only manufacturer with all vehicles named a TOP SAFETY PICK by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

"We are extremely pleased to be the only manufacturer with all vehicles named a TOP SAFETY PICK. This is an outstanding success and a tribute to the engineering that goes into Subaru products," said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. "To have this recognition by the IIHS reinforces to our customers that we maintain the highest standards when producing vehicles that are safe, durable, reliable as well as fun-to-drive."

"Subaru is the only manufacturer with a TOP SAFETY PICK winner in every vehicle class in which it competes," said IIHS president Adrian Lund. "The vehicles that earn this designation are the cream of the crop for protecting people in the most common kinds of crashes, and they have electronic stability control for helping drivers stay out of many crashes altogether."

The TOP SAFETY PICK recognizes vehicles that, in IIHS testing, does the best job of protecting people in front, side, rear, and now rollover crashes based on 'good' ratings, which denotes 'good' as the top ranking status possible in Institute tests. Winners also must have electronic stability control.

About IIHS

The Institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40 mph frontal offset crash tests. Each vehicle's overall evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the test.

Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV. Ratings reflect injury measures recorded on 2 instrumented SID-IIs dummies representing a small (5th percentile) woman, assessment of head protection countermeasures, and the vehicle's structural performance during the impact.

Rear crash protection is rated according to a two-step procedure. Starting points for the ratings are measurements of head restraint geometry -- the height of a restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of the head of an average size man. Seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are tested dynamically using a dummy that measures forces on the neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph. Seats without good or acceptable geometry are rated poor overall because they can't be positioned to protect many people.

In the roof strength test, a metal plate is pushed against 1 side of a roof at a constant speed. To earn a good rating for rollover protection, the roof must withstand a force of 4 times the vehicle's weight before reaching 5 inches of crush. This is called a strength-to-weight ratio. For an acceptable rating, the minimum required strength-to-weight ratio is 3.25. A marginal rating value is 2.5. Anything lower than that is rated poor.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of approximately 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru boasts the most fuel-efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

Topics: subaru, iihs

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