Five Ford Models Are Among Those Getting Top Safety Rating

Ford Fusion
Ford Fusion

A trio of Ford Motor (F) midsized sedans are among 2010 vehicles that topped the list of an insurance industry crash-testing organization's tests for safety. The Ford Fusion (pictured) -- and the essentially similar Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ -- along with two Ford entries in the growing crossover segment, the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT, received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's "Top Safety Pick" award, the organization said Wednesday.

Hyundai Motor's recently redesigned compact SUV, the Tucson, the Volkswagen Jetta SportsWagen and Audi A4 sedan and Q5 crossover also topped the IIHS list, after earning high ratings for good roof strength during simulated rollover crash tests. The tests are conducted by placing a metal plate that is pushed against a corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed, which reveals a strength-to-weight ratio.

IIHS says vehicles rated "good" -- its highest rating -- have roofs that can withstand a force equal to at least four times the vehicle's weight. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times vehicle weight.

The IIHS top safety award isn't limited to rollover protection. It also recognizes vehicles that earn the highest rating of "good" for front, side, rollover and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control, which is standard on all of the models mentioned.

Earlier this year, Ford made changes to the roof structures of the Flex, Fusion and MKT. The award applies to Flex models built after January, Fusions built after April and MKTs built after March, IIHS said.