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Cherry Hill, N.J., September 27, 2013 - Continuing its strong performance in crash testing, Subaru has two models, the top-selling Subaru Legacy sedan and Outback SUV, rated as “superior” in the new IIHS Front Crash Prevention (FCP) test program. The FCP program was created as a result of research by the Highway Loss Data Institute indicating that forward collision warning and automatic braking systems, such as Subaru’s EyeSight system, are helping drivers avoid frontal crashes.
The Institute rated models with optional or standard front crash prevention systems as superior, advanced or basic, depending on whether they offer autonomous braking, or autobrake, and, if so, how effective it is in tests at 12 and 25 mph.
In all, 74 vehicles (2013-14MY) were tested. Subaru’s Legacy sedan and Outback SUV were among the seven vehicles that received the “highest” possible rating of “Superior” when equipped with optional autobrake and forward collision warning systems. The 13MY/14MY Legacy and Outback were the only vehicles that received the highest possible score of six points.
“We want to help get the most effective systems in as many vehicles as soon as possible. That means a speed mitigation system like Subaru’s EyeSight that can prevent crashes at low and moderate speeds” said David Zuby, IIHS Chief Research Officer.
"Our buyers trust us to provide safety in their vehicles" said Thomas J. Doll, president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. "With all of our 2013 models listed as IIHS Top Safety Picks and now the 2014MY Legacy and Outback models tested to 2013 TSP+ and FCP status, this is further proof that we deliver on that trust."
The Subaru EyeSight system is available on the Subaru Forester, Legacy sedan and Outback models and is one of the most affordable of such technologies available. EyeSight uses two charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras developed by Subaru and is mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield, thus reducing the potential for damage that could occur in bumper-mounted systems, such as radar. The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. The video information is relayed to the EyeSight computer, which is also networked with the car's braking system and electronic throttle control. Below speeds of approximately 19mph, EyeSight is capable of detecting pedestrians in the vehicle's path and can activate to mitigate or even avoid the collision. Under certain circumstances, EyeSight is able to bring the car to a complete stop, thus avoiding a collision.
The Institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of a moderate overlap frontal and small overlap crash test. Each vehicle's overall evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the test.
Building on its long-running vehicle ratings program for consumer information, IIHS introduced the small overlap test in 2012 to further improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. Most automakers design their vehicles for good performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal test and the federal government’s full-width frontal test, but many haven’t addressed the problem of small overlap crashes. In a 2009 IIHS study of vehicles with good ratings for frontal crash protection, small overlap crashes accounted for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants.
The small overlap test is a demanding crash that replicates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a car’s front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.
Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV. Ratings reflect injury measures recorded on 2-instrumented SID-IIs dummies representing a small (5th percentile) woman, assessment of head protection countermeasures, and the vehicle's structural performance during the impact.
Rear crash protection is rated according to a two-step procedure. Starting points for the ratings are measurements of head restraint geometry -- the height of a restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of the head of an average size man. Seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are tested dynamically using a dummy that measures forces on the neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph. Seats without good or acceptable geometry are rated poor overall because they can't be positioned to protect many people. In the roof strength test, a metal plate is pushed against 1 side of a roof at a constant speed. To earn a good rating for rollover protection, the roof must withstand a force of 4 times the vehicle's weight before reaching 5 inches of crush. This is called a strength-to-weight ratio. For an acceptable rating, the minimum required strength-to-weight ratio is 3.25. A marginal rating value is 2.5. Anything lower than that is rated poor.
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