Toyota Earns 11 IIHS 2018 Safety Awards

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The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety says it's raising the bar for automakers, creating tougher test criteria to make sure vehicles can protect people in crashes and do more to help prevent crashes that can injure or kill.

Another 47 vehicles earned the next-tier Top Safety Pick award with Toyota producing the most vehicles on that list, followed by Hyundai with nine. To qualify for the TPS+ award, vehicles must also earn an acceptable rating in a new passenger-side small overlap front test introduced by the IIHS for 2018.

Forty-seven others did earn the lesser Top Safety Pick award.

"We're pleased to have so many vehicles recognized by IIHS, especially with the completely redesigned 2018 Camry receiving its highest safety award".

The institute rates front crash prevention by conducting low- and moderate-speed track tests of vehicles with automatic braking systems.

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The new passenger-side small overlap test marks the first time IIHS has focused a crash test on the front passenger's safety.

"Drivers expect that their passengers, who are often family, will be protected just as well as they are", said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

Headlights weren't factored in for the 2017 Top Safety Pick, and an acceptable headlight rating was enough to bump a 2017 award victor into the "plus" category. Hyundai, also the owner of the Kia and Genesis brands, produced six models earning the top award, while Subaru has four, the IIHS said in announcing its annual list. The BRZ is the only Subaru model that doesn't qualify. Automakers have committed to making this technology standard by 2022. That list could grow, since IIHS has not yet reviewed all models and variations and plans to review more throughout 2018.

Here is a link to all the top safety picks, which includes the reasons why they were chosen. The TOP SAFETY PICK+ accolade was introduced in the 2013 model year to recognize vehicles that offer a superior level of safety.

"The improvements in occupant protection have been incredible over the past decades", says Lund.

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