Majority of New Vehicles Fail to Meet Tougher IIHS Safety Standards

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety recently awarded 22 2014 model-year vehicles its top safety pick rating.  Honda and its Acura luxury line were big winners, with six models receiving the top rating.

In order to earn the top rating of “Top Safety Pick Plus”, vehicles had to achieve a good or acceptable rating in the institute’s small overlap crash test which evaluates how well they respond in collisions involving impacts to the front corners, and be equipped with an optional front collision warning feature.

The institute estimates that nearly a third of all vehicular accidents in the U.S. each year are rear-end crashes which account for about six percent of accident fatalities.  Optional front collision warning features have already reduced vehicle-to-vehicle collisions by approximately seven percent according to the IIHS which is working to make them a standard safety feature on all new vehicles.

IIHS spokesman Russ Rader says, “We want to show consumers which high-tech features are worth the money and encourage manufacturers to make them more widely available. We intend to raise the bar higher.”

This year’s IIHS list of Top Safety Pick Plus models include the Honda Civic hybrid, the two- and four-door Honda Accord, and Honda Odyssey minivan.  Honda’s luxury car division also received awards for the Acura RLX sedan and MDX crossover model.

Honda’s U.S. vice president of product planning and logistics Art St. Cyr says, “Our commitment to offer advanced safety technologies on mainstream products continues to pay dividends to Honda and Acura customers.”

Also on the list were the Volvo S60, S80 and XC60, Subaru Outback, Forester and Legacy, Toyota Prius and Highlander, Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, Mazda’s CX-5, Mazda3 and Mazda6, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and Infinity Q50.

The IIHS awarded 17 models its “Top Safety Pick” designation.  These models failed to achieve the top rating due to their lack of an optional front collision warning feature.  The number of vehicles receiving the secondary rating fell by 130 this year due to the institute’s tougher criteria.  In fact, the majority of vehicles on the market failed to receive any endorsements from the organization.

Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer says, “The development of crash avoidance technologies like forward collision warning and automatic vehicle braking reduce the chance of an accident ever occurring, thus reducing injury and repair costs for everyone.  This new rating system will encourage the further development and adoption of vehicle safety technology across the entire industry.”

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