- the insurance institute for highway safety has now issued its top safety pick or top safety pick+ awards to a record 92 vehicles for 2021, based on its testing and strict requirements for crash protection and lighting.
- the genesis gv80's results, just released this morning, are a good example of what kinds of criteria need to be met.
- if you've always wondered whether the insurance agency goes out and buys these vehicles that it then smashes into barriers, we're here to tell you that yes, they do—usually.
a few weeks after tiger woods unintentionally demonstrated the crashworthiness of the 2021 genesis gv80, the insurance institute for highway safety has now added its own seal of approval: the genesis suv earned a top safety pick+ award in iihs testing, announced today. that means the gv80 aced all of the physical crash tests, plus additional tests for electronic crash avoidance and headlights. the genesis g70 and g90 sedans also made the list. they're among more than 90 vehicles to take home that honor, of which 50 got the stricter tsp+ designation.
when it comes to crashworthiness, brian latouf, chief safety officer for genesis north america, told us, "you have to design with the end in mind. you start with the front structure, the subframe cradle, the foundational architectural design challenges. then there are the restraint systems, and the electrical systems to enable those." it’s a complicated process to ensure everything works in harmony under the duress of a crash. especially when you have 10 airbags, as the gv80 does.
while genesis is obviously keen on earning iihs accolades, it's not a company that furnishes cars to the iihs. hence, the gv80 results weren't available right away, because the iihs had to go find some cars to destroy. "they go buy them from dealerships," said latouf. if a car scores particularly well—or particularly badly—it can end up on display at iihs headquarters in virginia. it's still unclear what the fate of woods's gv80 will be, but presumably genesis will get to do its own postmortem after crash investigators are finished.
it seems clear from the circumstances (the road curved; the car went straight) that woods didn’t have the gv80's lane-keeping feature activated—for that, the driver needs to opt in. but the automated emergency braking is enabled at all times, so it's likely that feature helped mitigate the mayhem, once the car left the road and a crash became imminent. the black box data will tell that tale. the gv80 also has a driver attention warning system that, per genesis, analyzes driving patterns and "issues visual and audio alerts when it senses you should stop and rest for safety's sake."
latouf says that safety engineers consider car accidents in terms of a three-part sequence: before, during, and after. and of course, the best-case scenario is to remain in that first phase and avoid a crash in the first place. but the iihs testing confirms that if an accident becomes inevitable, inside a top safety pick vehicle might be the best place to be.