In the insurance-industry ratings, some models that got the IIHS top safety designation last year fell off the list with 2016 models, because the institute shifted its minimum criteria from “acceptable,” its second-highest rating, to “good,” its highest. The models also had to offer automatic braking, a crash-avoidance technology that will slow or stop a vehicle if it senses an impending collision, even without the driver taking actions.
VW touted the appearance of the 2016 Passat sedan on the IIHS list, after the company redesigned the car with a fully reinforced structure. Driver-assistance features like automatic braking, forward-collision alerts and a lane-departure warning are standard, the company said in a statement today.
The top-pick designation “demonstrates Volkswagen’s longstanding commitment to vehicle safety and the development of innovative technologies,” Mark McNabb, COO of Volkswagen of America Inc., said in the statement. The car’s technology is “unique to the segment and not typically seen outside the luxury market,” McNabb said.