- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2009

CHERRY HILL, N.J. | The 2010 Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback have been named 2009 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of “good” in the institute’s front, side and rear tests and be equipped with electronic stability control. Criteria to win are tough because the award is intended to drive continued safety improvements such as top crash test ratings and the rapid addition of electronic stability control, which is standard on the Legacy and Outback.

“Building safe vehicles is one of the things our customers have come to know and expect from us,” said Tom Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Subaru of America Inc. “To have this endorsement by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for every Subaru vehicle in our lineup is a tribute to our engineers and reinforces to consumers that we focus not only on manufacturing fun-to-drive vehicles, but also vehicles that are durable and dependable.”

“Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results,” says IIHS President Adrian Lund.

The institute’s frontal-crash-worthiness 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’s 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 sport utility vehicle. Ratings reflect injury measures recorded on two instrumented SID-IIs dummies, assessment of head-protection countermeasures, and the vehicle’s structural performance during the impact. Injury measures obtained from the two dummies, one in the driver’s seat and the other in the back seat behind the driver, are used to determine the likelihood that a driver and/or passenger in a similar real-world crash would sustain serious injury to various parts of the body. The movements and contacts of the dummies’ heads during the test also are evaluated. Structural performance is based on measurements indicating the amount of B-pillar intrusion into the occupant compartment.

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. Seats with good or acceptable restraint 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.

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