Toyota Corolla, Scion xB Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick Status

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Perhaps the most sought-after safety accolade in the automotive industry is scoring a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The agency recently added a roof-strength test for cars to be eligible for the award, making it an even tougher accomplishment. When the institute added the new guidelines late last year, no Toyotas made its initial list of Top Safety Picks.

Today, the IIHS announced that the 2010 Toyota Corolla and 2010 Scion xB both earned the top score of Good in the roof-strength test and are again Top Safety Picks. The 2009 models of both cars were past winners under the old guidelines. Of the four other Toyota models tested for roof strength, only the Camry earned a top rating of Good. The RAV4 and Yaris earned a rating of Acceptable, and the Tacoma earned a Marginal rating. No other Lexus or Scion models have been tested for roof strength yet.

The 2010 Corolla is included in both recalls for floormats and sticky accelerator pedals and is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over complaints of it its steering. The Scion xB is not included in the two recalls.

The IIHS adds that “Recalls happen all the time, and they happen to Top Safety Pick vehicles as well. They just don’t usually attract the level of media attention as the Toyota problems have. The award for the Corolla only applies to vehicles fixed under any recalls — such as those related to the unintended acceleration issue.”

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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