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.