Arlington, Virginia – The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named 115 vehicles to its 2012 list of Top Safety Picks. The list is longer than ever this year, with vehicles in nearly every size category the Institute evaluates.

In all, 69 cars, 38 SUVs, five minivans and three pickups earned the top standing. Of those, 18 are new to the list, with the rest carrying over from being named Top Safety Picks for 2011. The award recognizes vehicles that earn the top ratings in front, side, rollover and rear crashes. Previously, Top Safety Picks also had to be equipped with electronic stability control, which was optional or unavailable on some vehicles but is now mandatory for all light-duty vehicles for 2012 and forward.

“For the second year running, a record number of models qualify,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund. “It’s tough to win, and we commend auto manufacturers for making safety a top priority.”

With roof strength the newest test to be added, only 66 vehicles initially qualified for 2011 as less-than-perfect rollover ratings prevented many contenders from the top spot. The number later climbed to 100 as manufacturers redesigned existing models to strengthen their roofs or introduced new models. The IIHS’ rolling test schedule allows for recognition of additional winners throughout the year.

Every major auto manufacturer has at least one vehicle on the list, but Subaru remains the only one that has earned the top award for every model it builds. Toyota/Lexus/Scion had 15 winners for 2012, the most for any manufacturer, followed by General Motors at 14, Volkswagen/Audi with 13, and Ford/Lincoln and Honda/Acura with 12 each.

For a list of winning vehicles, visit IIHS.

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