Make us your home page
Instagram

Most new cars fail to earn insurance industry's top safety ratings

Honda, Subaru and Volvo are making strides protecting the occupants of their cars, while big manufacturers such as General Motors are lagging behind, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety said Thursday, as it gave 22 vehicles its top safety pick rating.

Between its Honda and Acura lines, Honda landed six of the top spots.

To earn the "Top Safety Pick Plus" ranking, vehicles had to rate as "good" on four crash tests and have "good" or "acceptable" performance on a small-overlap crash, in which the front corner of a car hits an object. The vehicles also must have at least an optional forward collision warning feature that alerts drivers to the possibility of running into another car.

The requirements are stiffer than in previous years and are likely to get even harder as the institute works to make the collision warning standard on all cars.

"We want to show consumers which high-tech features are worth the money and encourage manufacturers to make them more widely available," said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. "We intend to raise the bar higher."

Already, the forward collision warning is reducing vehicle-to-vehicle crashes by about 7 percent, according to insurance industry data. When it includes an automatic braking system, crash reduction more than doubles to 15 percent.

Honda has become an innovator, incorporating the latest technology into many of its vehicles and redesigning cars to better meet crash tests and protect occupants, Rader said.

Honda placed its Civic hybrid, both the two-door and four-door Accord sedan, its Odyssey minivan and Acura's RLX and MDX on the list.

Subaru's Legacy, Outback and Forester received the top rating, as did Volvo's S60, S80 and XC60. Mazda planted its Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 in the highest ranking. Ford had two vehicles, the Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ. Toyota also had two, the Prius, as long as it was built after November, and the Toyota Highlander. Other top-ranked vehicles included the Infiniti Q50, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

The number of vehicles earning the "Top Safety Pick" rating fell by 130 models from last year as the insurance institute raised criteria. There are now 139 models — the bulk of the market — without any safety endorsement from the institute.

Some of the largest manufacturers have lagged behind in adding active safety systems, such as collision warning and adaptive headlights. General Motors, for example, placed only its Chevrolet Spark, a small car that accounts for a tiny fraction of the nation's largest automaker's sales, on the "Top Safety Pick" list.

Most new cars fail to earn insurance industry's top safety ratings 12/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 8:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Groundbreaking today for complex on old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — A groundbreaking is slated for 10 a.m. today for a 400-unit apartment complex planned on the site of the former Tampa Tribune building in downtown Tampa.

    Renderings for a high-end apartment complex that will be built on the Tampa Tribune site in downtown Tampa. 
[Courtesy of Related Group]
  2. Walmart announces delivery partnership with Google

    Retail

    Walmart announced a new delivery partnership with Google to make online shopping easier for customers.

    People walk in and out of a Walmart store in Dallas. Walmart announced a new delivery partnership with Google.  [Associated Press]
  3. Insurance regulators fret over a spike in auto glass claims

    Banking

    TALLAHASSEE — Three months ago, state regulators weren't tracking a surge in broken auto glass claims, particularly in Tampa Bay.

    The issue has their attention now.

    The Office of Insurance Regulation is taking on assignment of benefits abuse in the 2018 legislative session. Pictured is Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. | [Times file photo]
  4. Proino Breakfast Club owner charged with not paying state taxes

    Crime

    LARGO — Just before noon on a recent Sunday at Proino Breakfast Club, the dining room was bustling as owner George Soulellis chatted with a customer.

    Proino Breakfast Club at 201 West Bay Drive in Largo. The owner was arrested last month on a theft of state funds charge, according to court records. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  5. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]