September 15, 2006

Latest side impact crash test results released

Arlington, Virginia – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released crash test results on the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Ford Freestyle, Ford Fusion and Ford Crown Victoria. All models were equipped with side airbags.

The FJ Cruiser and Freestyle earned the top “good” rating for protection in side crashes, while the Fusion was rated “acceptable” and the Crown Victoria “marginal”. (The Crown Victoria is sold only to fleets in Canada, but the Ford Grand Marquis version is available for retail sales.)

Side airbags are optional in the FJ Cruiser and Crown Victoria; the Fusion has been upgraded to standard side airbags for the 2007 model year, while the Freestyle will have standard side airbags in model year 2007 vehicles built after September 2006.

“We commend Ford for making side airbags standard in the Fusion and Freestyle,” says IIHS president Adrian Lund. “A few years ago, it was rare to find these standard in moderately-priced family vehicles, but they’re quickly becoming the norm.”

The tests were conducted outside of the IIHS’ normal schedule, at the request of the manufacturers. The Crown Victoria and Fusion tests update those done earlier on models without side airbags, which earned “poor” ratings.

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