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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 15 2011, 5:45 PM

Making its way on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for 2012 is the all-new Buick Verano. This raises General Motors IIHS Top Safety Pick award count to 14 in 2012 – not too shabby.

Equipped with 10 standard air bags, the Verano came out with a good score in the IIHS tests for front and side crash tests, roof strength test, and rear impact test. The Verano also features standard electronic stability control, which the IIHS requires for Top Safety Pick designation.

“GM set a goal that every new product would be designed to meet or exceed the third-party metrics that IIHS and others use to communicate crash worthiness to consumers,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety. “We are now seeing the results from that commitment.”

Of the GM vehicles that made it to IIHS’s 2012 Top Safety Pick award list, 13 models had previously qualified for the 2011 award. These vehicles were carried over to 2012 because its structure is substantially the same as the IIHS tested for 2011. Carrying over for 2012 awards are the Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Enclave; the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, Volt, Equinox, Malibu and Traverse; the Cadillac CTS (sedan) and SRX, and GMC Terrain and Acadia.

 |  Jul 28 2011, 11:07 AM

The 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf for earned five stars  in crash testing performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For the front crash and dynamic rollover test, the Leaf received four stars, but overall scored five stars. Combine that with the Top Safety Pick Award it won from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and you’ve got yourself one safe vehicle. It’s also important to note that the Leaf is the first pure electric vehicle to be evaluated for its crash protection.

Fewer cars have made the cut ever since the NHTSA implemented more rigid standards for vehicles to earn five stars in its safety ratings system in 2011. This new system includes a more comprehensive testing when it comes to front and side crash, and rollover resistance. As well, each model receives an overall vehicle score, which is combined with the results of the three tests and compares them to the injury risk in other vehicles.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

 |  May 10 2011, 2:00 PM

Drum roll please! Making its way onto the prestigious Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award is the redesigned 2011 Lincoln MKX. This designation only applies 2011 MKX’s built after February 2011.

The 2011 MKX is in good company – it joins the Lincoln MKS flagship sedan, MKT three-row premium utility and MKZ luxury sedan. To earn the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick, vehicles must have a earn a “good” rating offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact crash tests and roof strength evaluations, and they must also come with standard electronic stability control. Adding to their safety, all Lincoln models feature a number of safety technologies such as advanced radar warning systems. The 2011 MKX features a solid unibody construction, which provides an energy-absorbing structure to help protect occupants, as well as bumper-to-bumper flow-through side rails, structural design and A-pillars, all of which are designed to better manage crash energy.

“New Lincoln models feature some of the most innovative safety technologies, and we are delighted that all are now rated ‘Top Safety Picks’ by the IIHS,” said Scott Tobin, director, Lincoln Product Development. “Prestige and safety go hand in hand, and this is proof that Lincoln offers safety as another compelling reason to buy.”

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2011 Lincoln MKX Review

 |  Apr 25 2011, 2:30 PM

If you don’t succeed, try, try again. And that’s just what Ford did – when the 2011 Edge and Lincoln MKX didn’t make the cut for Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award, they made improvements to roof strength, and finally got the thumbs up from the IIHS.

These midsize SUVs jumped from acceptable to good for roof strength in rollover crashes to earn the Top Safety pick award. In order to pick up this prize, vehicles must earn the top rating of good for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and they must have electronic stability control as a standard feature (ESC).

In the IIHS’s roof strength evaluation, the Edge and the Lincoln MKX withstood a force equal to 4.7 times the vehicles’ weight. To earn a good rating, vehicles must achieve a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher. Only models produced after February, 2011 can boast TSP certification.

[Source: IIHS]

 |  Sep 02 2010, 7:59 PM

The most recent vehicle to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award is the 2011 Buick Regal. This means that the Regal joins other winners including LaCrosse, Audi A4, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Genesis that also many the Top Safety Picks for 2010.

All Top Safety Picks must have good ratings in the front, side, rear, and roof strength tests, and electronic stability control must be available.

“The Buick Regal is not only catching the attention of consumers with its design and responsive driving performance but also by being a leader in its class for safety,” said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick Marketing.  “The IIHS Top Safety Pick Award acknowledges our commitment to offering our customers great safety systems that enhance their driving experience.”

One of the most important conditions to getting this award is the roof strength test. The Regal withstood a force equivalent to about five times its weight; the federal standard is one-and-a-half times the vehicle’s weight.

 |  Jun 06 2010, 7:34 AM

The results are in and a host of new SUVs have made the cut. Joining the list for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Award recipients are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2011 Kia Sorento, and the 2010 Toyota Highlander and Venza.

It takes a sturdy vehicle to become an IIHS Top Safety Pick. To drive off with one, a vehicle must earn Good ratings in front- and side-impact tests, as well as head restraint design for rear crash protection, and roof strength. As well, it has to come standard with electronic stability control. Vehicles are rated on a scale of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor.

Roof-strength is the most difficult test to pass, and the SUVs tested at this time demonstrated a roof strength-to-weight ratio of 4-to-1 or greater (meaning roofs held up under more than four times the vehicle’s weight before the top is compressed five inches). Some examples of outcomes for this test: the Toyota Highlander roof withstood a force equal to 4.74 times its vehicle weight, while the Toyota Venza’s roof withstood 4.70 times its vehicle weight.

Some SUVs that didn’t make the cut were the Ford Edge, Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano. The Edge earned an Acceptable roof-strength rating, while rest were rated Marginal.

The IIHS is an independent non-profit research and communications organization funded by auto insurance companies.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

 |  May 29 2010, 9:25 AM

Finally, some good news for Toyota – three new Toyota vehicles have been given Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Getting the award are the 2011 Toyota Avalon and Sienna for achieving the institute’s highest ratings in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests. Also picking up an award is the 2010 Lexus RX – now that the company has improved its stability control program. In order to win this award, vehicles must come with electronic stability control as standard equipment.

The Sienna was redesigned for the 2011 year and is the first minivan to earn the IIHS’s top safety designation since good performance for rollover protection was added to the criteria for 2010. This is great news for the brand, and comes as much welcome news after an onslaught of recalls.

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]