BMW of North America today announced that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the 2009 BMW 3-Series Sedan, X5 and X3 models the top rating of "Good" in each of its series of crash tests, earning each vehicle the Institute's coveted Top Safety Pick Award.
Receiving the Top Safety Pick is one of numerous awards BMW has earned from the IIHS over the years. In fact, as a result of IIHS crash tests in 2000, the 2001 BMW X5 earned the unique distinction of not only being the best SUV, but also being the safest vehicle ever tested by IIHS up to that point.
"BMW continues to be committed to both our active and passive safety technologies, and we are pleased to receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award," said Jim O'Donnell, President of BMW of North America, LLC.
The Institute rates vehicles "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" or "Poor" based on performance in high-speed Frontal Offset and Side Impact crash tests, as well as an evaluation of the vehicle's Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraints, which protects against neck injuries in rear impact crashes.
In order for a vehicle to become a Top Safety Pick, it must earn "Good" ratings in all three Institute tests. Additionally, as of 2007, winning vehicles must also offer Electronic Stability Control (ESC) - a standard feature on all BMW vehicles, known as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The IIHS requires this feature based on Institute research indicating that ESC significantly reduces crash risk, especially the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes, by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers.