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Ford, Honda top auto safety awards list

Nov. 15, 2007 at 9:14 AM

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The number of vehicles qualifying for the Top Safety Pick by a U.S. highway safety board more than doubled for 2008 models with Ford and Honda leading the way.

Thirty-four vehicles earned the Top Safety Pick award given to vehicles that perform best in front, side, and rear crash tests, a news release by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Thursday.

Ford and its subsidiary, Volvo, posted eight vehicles to the list of winners for 2008. Honda and its Acura division won the award for seven vehicles. Others included the Audi A3, the BMW X5, the Saab 9-3 and the Toyota Highlander.

The IIHS added further criteria for the 2008 awards. Vehicles must be fitted with electronic stability control to prevent sideways skidding that may contribute to rollovers.

"If all vehicles were equipped with ESC, as many as 10,000 fatal crashes could be avoided each year," IIHS President Adrian Lund said in the statement.

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