USA: Two new vehicles rate well in insurance institute tests arranged by manufacturer - report

By just-auto.com editorial team | 22 December 2003

Ford's new F-150 pickup and Freestar minivan received top ratings in an insurance industry group's crash tests designed to simulate high-speed collisions, according to Reuters.

The report noted that, in an unusual step, Ford had requested the tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and reimbursed the group for the cost of the vehicles - the IIHS tests have become a closely watched measure of crashworthiness, and several carmakers tout good results in advertising, especially for minivans and other family vehicles.

Reuters reported that the IIHS said on Friday that both new Ford vehicles earned "good" ratings in 40-mile-per-hour frontal crashes into barriers designed to strike only the driver's side of the vehicle.

The institute says a good rating means that, in a real crash of similar severity, a belted driver would be likely to walk away with minor injuries, the report added, noting that the IIHS also gave both vehicles "Best Pick" designations among their competitors.

The previous version of the F-150 had been rated "poor" by the institute, while the Ford Windstar minivan had been rated "acceptable", Reuters added.