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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Announces Top Safety Picks for 2010

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After conducting their annual safety tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has cropped the list of "crashworthy" winners down from 94 vehicles in 2009 to 19 for 2010. To determine crashworthiness—that is, how well a vehicle protects its occupants during a crash—all 2010 car models were given the high-speed front and side tests, a test for rollover safety, and an evaluation of the seat and head restraints in protecting against head injuries in rear impacts. To earn the “Top Safety Pick for 2010” award, a vehicle had to achieve good ratings in all of the four tests. In addition, the winning vehicles also had to have electronic stability control.

Overall, the safest 2010 vehicles included two new models: the Nissan Cube and the Kia Soul. Furthermore, Subaru had a model winner in each category, the only manufacturer to accomplish this goal. Furthermore, Subaru won five awards total, although Ford and its subsidiary, Volvo, won topped that number with six awards.

Some of the largest automakers that did well in previous years were absent from the final rankings. For example, Toyota and its Lexus and Scion subsidiaries did well in 2009 with 11 award-winning models—this year they received no awards.