Toyota Motor Co.'s full-sized Tundra pickup truck came out on top in crash tests just released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Tundra outdid competitors from Detroit's Big Three automakers, including Ford Motor Co.'s popular F-150, in the IIHS tests. The IIHS, a U.S. insurance industry group, issued results of its "offset" crash tests on June 4. The tests are designed to determine how well occupants would survive in a vehicle if the driver's side of the front end plowed into a barrier at 40 mph. Toyota's Tundra claimed first place with a "good" rating for crashworthiness overall. In contrast, the F-150, which Ford says is the world's best-selling vehicle, was the worst performer and rated "poor" for what IIHS President Brian O'Neill described as "major collapse of the occupant compartment" in the offset test. "As a result of this collapse, the (crash test) dummy's movement wasn't well controlled. High injury measures were recorded on the dummy's head and neck. The airbag deployed late in the crash, and this also contributed to the high injury measures," O'Neill said. The Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, produced by the U.S. unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, also earned a "poor" rating in the crash test, although it performed slightly better than the F-150. The Ram's airbag also deployed late, contributing to high head and neck injury measures, IIHS said. According to IIHS, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and its sister vehicle, the GMC Sierra 1500, both manufactured by General Motors Corp., earned a "marginal" safety rating overall. The GM trucks won higher marks than the Tundra in terms of injury protection, but rated poorly for damage to the passenger compartment. Interestingly, the results are the reverse of rankings from frontal crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In those tests, the F-150 earned the highest ratings of the four trucks, with four out of five stars for driver protection and five stars for passenger protection. The Tundra rated the lowest, earning three stars in both tests. Ford Responds to Results In a written response to the IIHS test data, James Vondale, director of Ford's Automotive Safety Office, said improving the F-150's rating in the offset test would require changes to the vehicle's front-end that could compromise its performance in the government's frontal test. Vondale also said the changes could affect "compatibility" with other vehicles, a reference to the kind of damage the F-150 would typically inflict on a smaller car or truck in a crash. According to Vondale, the IIHS frontal offset test is a severe high-speed test that does not often occur in real world situations. "That said, we are certainly examining the results of the test to see if any structural changes can be made without compromising the already high level of safety of the vehicle," Vondale said.