“Criteria to win are tough because the award is intended to drive continued safety improvements such as high crash test ratings and rapid addition of electronic stability control, which is standard equipment on the Taurus X,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple results.”
Initially only 13 cars, minivans, and SUVs qualified for 2007 awards. As automakers introduce new models or make safety changes to existing ones, the Institute adds winners throughout the year. Ford’s Freestyle, predecessor to the Taurus X, earned top crash test ratings but didn’t qualify for the 2007 award because electronic stability control wasn’t available.
“In a competitive marketplace, automakers are striving to earn safety accolades,” Lund points out. “We congratulate Ford for having more models that earn Top Safety Pick from the Institute than any other car company.”
Seven of the 22 current Top Safety Picks are from Ford or its subsidiary, Volvo.