7 cars get top ratings in high-tech safety testThe Associated Press | September 29,2013NEW YORK — Seven midsize vehicles earned the top rating in a new insurance industry test of high-tech safety features designed to prevent front-end collisions.
The Cadillac ATS and SRX, Subaru Legacy and Outback, Mercedes C-Class and Volvo S60 and XC60 won “superior” ratings in tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS.
The institute tested 74 midsize cars and SUVs from the model years 2013 and 2014. Those equipped with front collision-warning and automatic braking systems generally scored better. The systems can either warn the driver or automatically stop the car if they sense a potential collision.
IIHS, a nonprofit research group funded by insurance companies, has pushed federal regulators and automakers to require or offer as an option new safety systems such as antilock brakes.
The group also is pushing automakers to bolster front-end crash resistance.
Automakers have been offering the frontal-crash systems on more and more models as the price of the technology falls. The systems use radar, cameras, ultrasonic sensors and computers to spot objects in front of cars and determine if a collision is possible. A driver may be warned to take action, or the system may apply the brakes itself.
IIHS said its data institute has determined that the devices help drivers avoid frontal crashes, but even so, auto insurance companies generally aren’t offering discounts for people who buy them.
Insurance companies say that as the systems become more popular in certain models, insurance claims will decline. Those models eventually will see discounted rates.
In the tests, six other cars got second-best “advanced” ratings: Acura MDX, Audi A4 and Q5, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Lexus ES, Mazda 6.
More than two dozen models received “basic” ratings: Acura ZDX; BMW 3 series, X3; Chevrolet Equinox and Malibu; Dodge Durango; Ford Edge, Explorer, Flex, Fusion; GMC Terrain, Honda Accord and Crosstour; Infiniti Q50, QX50, QX60, QX70; Jeep Cherokee, Lexus IS and RX; Lincoln MKT, MKX, MKZ; Mercedes GLK, M-Class.
Another 36 got no rating because they didn’t have the systems or their systems didn’t meet the institute’s standards.
The institute says the tests will help people decide which features to buy and encourage automakers to adopt the new technology faster.MORE IN National / World BusinessDETROIT — A dispute between U.S. safety regulators and air bag maker Takata Corp. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1778, Capt. James Cook is first European to set eyes on Maui in Hawaiian Islands; 1922, Pharoah Tutankhamun found after 3000 years; 1909, Hollawood movie star Frances Dee born in Los Angeles.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Hazmat unit called downtown, Boys & Girls Club hosts dinner for members and families, Secret Santa back on the beat, city discusses runoff problem on Mayfield Road, Brandon gets creative about fixes to town roads, sidewalks.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1944, U.S. begins B-29 bombing raids on Japanese main islands; in 1950, Great Appalachian Storm begins to form; 1963, Lee Oswald killed by Jack Ruby; 1974, D.B. Cooper hijacks Seattle-bound airliner; 1974, 'Lucy' found.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.