Audi's reputation as a leader in automotive safety gained validation with four of its best-selling models claiming Top Safety Pick awards for 2009 from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Winning the safety award were the Audi A3, all-new Audi A4, Audi A6 and the Audi Q7. The award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting passengers in front, side and rear collisions. All of the winners also had to have electronic stability control, which IIHS credits with significantly lowering crash risks.
"Protecting the drivers and their passengers in our vehicles is at the top of Audi's priority list, and we're delighted to stand above other European luxury carmakers," said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, Audi of America. "Safety is woven into the earliest consideration of how our different models should look and perform. We're grateful the Insurance Institute has recognized this singular focus of ours."
This marks the second consecutive year that four Audi models have earned this important safety award. The Q7, A6, A4, and A3 all received the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award in 2008. The A6 and A4 received the IIHS Top Safety Pick Award in 2007 as well. IIHS launched the safety awards in 2006.
The four awards collected by Audi models exceeded the number of awards given to BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Lexus models. Additionally, some Audi models, including the R8 sports car, the A5 coupe, and the A8 luxury sedan did not fall within the IIHS test program at this time.
IIHS evaluates each vehicle for front crashworthiness following a 40mph offset collision. Calculations are made on the level of intrusion the crash causes in the occupant compartment and the impact recorded by crash test dummies. Side impact evaluations involve crashing a barrier into the side of a vehicle at 31mph. Rear crash protection involves measuring the geometry of head restraints. Vehicles with good or acceptable measurements are then struck in the rear at 20mph.