Hyundai, VW top in­surance in­dus­try safe car list

The Pak Banker - - Company & Boss News -

WASHINGTON: South Korean au­tomak­ers Hyundai and Kia and Ger­man car maker Volk­swa­gen lead the in­surance in­dus­try's an­nual list of the safest new ve­hi­cles, used by safety-minded con­sumers look­ing to buy a new car, As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported.

The In­surance In­sti­tute for High­way Safety rec­og­nized 66 ve­hi­cles on Wed­nes­day with its "top safety pick award" for the 2011 model year, the mostever awarded by the Vir­gini­abased group. The num­ber was more than dou­ble the 27 ve­hi­cles se­lected last year. Hyundai Mo­tor Corp. and its af­fil­i­ate Kia Mo­tors Corp., and Volk­swa­gen AG and its Audi brand re­ceived the most awards with nine, fol­lowed by eight awards apiece by Gen­eral Mo­tors Co., Ford Mo­tor Co. and Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp. The awards, used in ad­ver­tis­ing to at­tract car buy­ers, bol­ster Hyundai and Volk­swa­gen as they at­tempt to build a larger foothold in the United States.

Hyundai's Ge­n­e­sis sedan, Sonata mid­size and Santa Fe and Tuc­son sport util­ity ve­hi­cles picked up awards, while Kia was rec­og­nized for the Op­tima mid­size car, the Forte and Soul small cars, and the Sorento and Sportage SUVs. Volk­swa­gen won plau­dits for the Jetta and Jetta SportWa­gen, the Golf and GTI small cars and the Touareg and Tiguan SUVs. Audi's A3 and A4 sedans and Q5 SUV also made the list.

Subaru and Chrysler re­ceived five awards apiece while Volvo and Mercedes had four. Subaru was the only au­tomaker to win awards in ev­ery ve­hi­cle cat­e­gory in which it com­petes. Nis­san and Honda had two awards each and Mit­subishi and BMW had one. Hyundai said the award was par­tic­u­larly sweet for the Sonata, which also re­ceived the top score of five stars in the govern­ment's crash test pro­gram. The com­bi­na­tion put Sonata "in a safety po­si­tion un­sur­passed in the in­dus­try," said John Kraf­cik, pres­i­dent and CEO of Hyundai Mo­tor Amer­ica.

Mark Barnes, Volk­swa­gen of Amer­ica's chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, said the recog­ni­tion for VW was a "tes­ta­ment to our com­mit­ment to en­gi­neer­ing safe ve­hi­cles."

GM's win­ners in­clude the Chevro­let Mal­ibu, Cruze and Equinox; Cadil­lac CTS and SRX; Buick LaCrosse and Re­gal and GMC Ter­rain. Chris Perry, vice pres­i­dent of Chevro­let mar­ket­ing, said the award would build on "the al­ready strong global safety rep­u­ta­tion of the Cruze."

Ford's picks in­clude the Ford Tau­rus, Fu­sion, Fi­esta, Ex­plorer and Flex; and the Lin­coln MKS, MKZ and MKT. Ford vice pres­i­dent Sue Cis­chke said the Ex­plorer, which ar­rived at dealer show­rooms ear­lier this month, of­fered a good ex­am­ple of the com­pany's safety im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing in­flat­able seat belts and technology that helps a driver main­tain con­trol of the ve­hi­cle along tough curves.

Toy­ota, which has grap­pled with sev­eral high-pro­file re­calls dur­ing the past year, scored with the Toy­ota Avalon, Corolla, Si­enna, High­lander and Venza; the Lexus RX; and the Scion tC and xB. Toy­ota said its eight safety picks were "re­flec­tive of our on­go­ing com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing safe and re­li­able ve­hi­cles for our cus­tomers."

The ve­hi­cles were cho­sen for pro­tec­tion in front, side and rear crash tests. To qual­ify for the award, the in­surance in­dus­try group also re­quires the ve­hi­cles to have anti-rollover elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, or ESC, and re­ceive top scores in roof strength tests.

In­sti­tute pres­i­dent Adrian Lund cred­ited au­tomak­ers for "quickly ris­ing to meet the more-chal­leng­ing cri­te­ria for 'Top Safety Pick.'" -PB News

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