Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that for the second consecutive year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recognized it as the only automotive manufacturer with a 2011 TOP SAFETY PICK winner in every vehicle class in which it competes.
“We know our customers take their safety very seriously and so we are very pleased that IIHS has recognized us again as the only manufacturer with a TOP SAFETY PICK winner for all its models,” said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. “This is an outstanding success and a tribute to the engineering that goes into our products. The IIHS reinforces to our customers that Subaru maintains the highest standards to produce vehicles that are fun-to- drive, durable, reliable as well as safe. ”
The TOP SAFETY PICK recognizes vehicles that, in IIHS testing, do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rear, and now rollover crashes based on ‘good’ ratings in each category. The IIHS ranks in terms of Good, Acceptable, Marginal and Poor, with ‘good’ as the top rank possible in Institute tests. Winners also must have electronic stability control.
“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 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.