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IIHS Taps 64 Models as Top Safety Picks for 2018

IIHS Taps 64 Models as Top Safety Picks for 2018

With new tougher standards in place for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's coveted "2018 Top Pick Plus" rating, just 15 vehicles earned the distinction compared with 38 for 2017.

"And Subaru continues to be a standout with four of their vehicles winning Top Safety Pick+".

The organization has long used crash tests as a key element for rating vehicles, including hits to the front driver's side, but this year the institute added a new test: crashes to the front on the passenger side. The Crosstrek and Forester earn Top Safety Pick, also with option front-crash prevention and specific headlights. The latest awards are the first to factor in a passenger-side crash test. Fifteen of those earning its highest award despite tougher criteria requiring better headlights and enhanced passenger side protection.

Fifteen vehicles earned the group's highest award of Top Safety Pick+, which is lower than past year.

"We developed this test when it became clear that some manufacturers were not paying attention to the passenger side", said Adrian Lund, IIHS president.

Two automakers make up much of the list.

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He added, "Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching, and I'm committed to beginning that effort. The 76-year-old added his daughter is "feeling shocked" and "is now having sorrow for her children".

Hyundai finished a close second with nine models, including the Santa Fe, Kia Forte sedan and Kia Soul.

The vast majority of award winners only qualify when optionally equipped with front crash prevention and acceptable or good headlights aren't part of their base trims, the institute said. The sole Subaru model that did not qualify was the BRZ.

"Too many headlights don't light enough road", Lund said.

"All automakers now recognize the important role of safety in consumer choice, and they are increasingly receptive to working with our engineers to understand the next steps in keeping people from harm in motor vehicle crashes and to make real changes in their vehicle designs".

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