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Automotive Safety | IIHS Tightens Judging Criteria, Fewer Models Receive Accolades



The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) continued its annual tradition this year of presenting its awards to the safest automobile models. The U.S. non-profit, which does its own crash testing, has been tougher for 2023, resulting in fewer vehicles earning the coveted “Top Safety Pick.”

Barely 48 vehicles won this award compared to 101 last year. Of these winners, 28 received the highest distinction of the “Top Safety Pick +”. Adjustments in terms of headlight performance evaluation, active pedestrian protection and occupant protection in side impacts explain the lower number of models receiving the distinction.

Note that the update of the side impact test makes energy dispersion 82% higher than the previous protocol, which makes the exercise more realistic in a context where vehicles are increasingly heavy. The IIHS has also incorporated a night test to assess the behavior of active safety systems when encountering pedestrians.

Toyota (including Lexus) is the big winner of this awards ceremony with 15 models ahead of Honda (with Acura), which has eight award-winning models, and Mazda, with six award-winning vehicles.

The IIHS still hailed automakers’ quick changes to their vehicles to perform better in updated crash tests. It is specified that models in all segments are represented among the prices given this year, regardless of the type of engine.

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