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IIHS Recommends More Subaru Models Than Any Other Automotive Brand

November 27, 2006 - Press Release

Subaru was a big winner with this year's Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards, the 2007 Subaru Legacy, Forester and Tribeca all earned the TOP SAFETY PICK designation. These three Subaru models, with available Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), were among only 10 other 2007 TOP SAFETY PICKS in the industry, but Subaru had the most IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK designations of any single automotive brand. "We are very pleased that the IIHS has recommended the Subaru Legacy, Forester and Tribeca models in their recent tests. Uncompromising active and passive safety is a long-time hallmark of the Subaru brand," said Tim Mahoney, senior vice president, and CMO, Subaru of America, Inc. "Our research indicates that customers strongly associate the Subaru brand with safety and the recent recommendation from the IIHS validates this positioning in the mind of our customers." The IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute tests. The Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. The first requirement for a vehicle to become a TOP SAFETY PICK is to earn good ratings in all three Institute tests. Vehicles that were eligible to win included current small, midsize, and large car models plus minivans and small and midsize SUVs. Winners also had to be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC). Subaru calls its electronic stability control Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control or VDC. Subaru VDC monitors vehicle stability by continually measuring inputs including steering angle, lateral-g, yaw rate, and individual wheel speed. Using this data, VDC can compare the driver's intended path to the vehicle's actual path. Working with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and ABS, VDC can correct understeer, oversteer, drift conditions and wheel slip.Subaru designed VDC to increase stability on slippery surfaces and to also enhance cornering performance on dry roads. The system can improve high-speed stability and help prevent oversteer from occurring when the throttle is quickly lifted while cornering. Using various sensor inputs, VDC can sense impending loss of control at either the front or rear of the vehicle. If VDC detects instability, it will produce a counteracting force by adjusting power distribution between the front and rear wheels and momentarily applying (or releasing) brake force on one or more wheels.Subaru Making Safety Standard
To Subaru, safety means far more than protecting a car's occupants in the event of a collision. Ideally, a passenger vehicle should provide the driver with the means to help avoid hazardous situations. Subaru calls the concept Active Driving/Active Safety. Designing a vehicle for active safety gives a driver a strong sense of control, maneuverability and security.Active Safety: Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive forms the core of the Subaru Active Driving/Active Safety concept. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive gives a Subaru a significant traction advantage over two-wheel drive cars (front- and/or rear-wheel drive) on all road surfaces. On all 2007 Subaru models, the standard 4-channel / 4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). This system enhances braking performance and stability by actively optimizing braking force between the front and rear wheels according to how the vehicle is loaded with passengers and cargo. Passive Safety: The compact Subaru Boxer engine helps enhance safety, because it allows more crush room in front and on the sides. Subaru vehicles are designed to allow the entire powertrain to slide under the car along the floor tunnel in a severe collision, helping to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. All Subaru models are built around a Ring Frame Reinforced body structure design that incorporates front and rear crumple-zone construction to absorb the energy of an impact and help protect the reinforced passenger compartment. Essentially, the Ring Frame Reinforced structure forms a series of "rings" around the passenger compartment, providing excellent protection in a variety of collision types. This structure increases cabin rigidity and can absorb impact energy from any direction. Advanced Restraint Systems: All 2007 Subaru models incorporate electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters in the front three-point seatbelts. These systems work together to gradually restrain the occupants and absorb the impact energy of a frontal collision. The seatbelt pre-tensioners operate simultaneously with the front air bags and cinch the front seatbelts to help restrain the driver and front passenger in their seats. Next, the mechanically operated torsion-bar force-limiters extend the belts to reduce the belt forces on the occupants' torsos. The seatbelt mechanism also absorbs energy through internal deformation. All 2007 Subaru models feature the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System. This intelligent air bag system employs dual-stage-deployment driver and front passenger air bags. A seat position sensor on the driver's seat track detects if the driver is sitting too close to the air bag, in which case the system would delay deployment of the air bag's second stage. The passenger side front seat incorporates an occupant detection module that detects weight on the passenger seat - determining if it's a child or adult - to control air bag deployment. All Forester and Impreza models for 2007 feature standard front seat head/chest side impact air bags. The Legacy and Outback models come equipped with front seat side impact air bags for thorax and pelvic-area protection and side curtain air bags (full side coverage) for head protection. The Tribeca is equipped with front seat side impact air bags for thorax-area protection and side curtain air bags for the front and middle rows. Mounted in the upper sides of the front seatbacks, the front seat side-impact airbags offer protection regardless of seat position. The side curtain air bags deploy from the headliner. For additional information on Subaru safety visit: Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2005. For additional information visit
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