Monday, January 5, 2009

Tundra & Tacoma are Top Safety Pick

Posted by: T.J. Houghton

Tundra & Tacoma are Top Safety Picks - Tundra is a repeat winner! And Tacoma is the only compact pickup to receive this honor!

Both Tundra and Tacoma have been named a 2009 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). According to an IIHS news release, dated November 25, 2008, only 72 vehicles were given this honor.

Last year the Tundra was the first and only pickup to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick. This year Tacoma joins the group and is the only compact pickup listed. Other pickups making the list for the first time include the Ford F-150 and Honda Ridgeline. FJ Cruiser, Highlander and RAV4 also made the list.

According to the IIHS, a Top Safety Pick recognizes vehicles that "do the best job of protecting people in front, side and rear crashes based on good ratings in the Institute tests." All winning vehicles must also have electronic stability control (ESC). The Tundra and Tacoma have Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)--which is Toyota's version of ESC--as standard equipment. VSC is a component of the more comprehensive Star Safety System wich is standard equipment on many of Toyota's vehicles.

The Institute also acknowledges the benefits of side airbags in side-impact crashes. The Tundra and Tacoma offer seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags as standard equipment. According to the Institute, only 23% of pickups have standard side airbags with head protection, and only 37% of pickups have ESC.

The Tundra and Tacoma were also equipped with active front head-restraint designs. The Institute said more than 25 vehicles had the required crash-test ratings and ESC but came with "inadequate head restraint designs" and didn't make the final list.

Last summer, Tacoma was the only 2008 compact pickup tested to earn a "good" on side-impact crashes. The other trucks earned either a "marginal" or "poor." Tacoma was also rated "good," which is the Institutes top rating, in frontal impact testing.

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