2011 Buick Regal and 2011 Ford Fiesta Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

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August 30, 2010 — The new Buick Regal earns the Institute’s top safety accolade after achieving good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection. The Top Safety Pick designation helps car shoppers zero in on the vehicles that afford the best overall crash protection. In addition to good crash test ratings, winners must have electronic stability control, an important crash-avoidance feature, which is standard on the Regal.

The Regal is the seventh vehicle from General Motors to earn the award since the Institute implemented a new roof strength requirement for protection in rollover crashes. In this test, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle’s roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle’s weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. The roof of the Regal withstood a force equal to nearly 5 times the car’s weight. For comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.

“Recent test results show that manufacturers are moving quickly to improve the rollover safety of their newest designs,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. The Institute recently implemented a new roof strength requirement for protection in rollover crashes.

2011 Ford Fiesta earns Top Safety Pick award

The Ford Fiesta sedan/hatchback is the first minicar to earn the Top Safety Pick award since the Institute added a roof strength requirement for rollover protection. The Fiesta is recognized as a Top Safety Pick after earning good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and for having electronic stability control as standard equipment. No other minicar the Institute has tested has earned top ratings in all four safety evaluations.

The Fiesta is the eighth Ford model to earn the Institute’s top designation. The others are Ford Fusion/Lincoln MKZ/Mercury Milan, Ford Taurus/Lincoln MKS, and Ford Flex/Lincoln MKT.

The Fiesta’s award applies to cars built after July 2010 because Ford made design changes to strengthen the outside door handles to minimize the possibility of the handles starting to activate in side impact crashes.

About The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses ” deaths, injuries, and property damage ” from crashes on the nation’s highways. The Highway Loss Data Institute’s mission is to compute and publish insurance loss results by make and model. Both organizations are wholly supported by USA auto insurers. For more information, visit http://www.iihs.org.