DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.'s four-door Bronco SUV failed to qualify for two safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because of issues with its head restraints and headlights, the organization said Wednesday.
The Bronco earned "good" ratings in five of IIHS' six crashworthiness tests but a lower "acceptable" rating in the head restraint test. IIHS said its crash test dummy "was subject to moderate force" in a simulated rear-end crash.
Additionally, both of the Bronco's headlight systems earned "marginal" ratings because their low beams did not illuminate the road to a far enough distance on curves, the organization said.
That means the vehicle missed out on both the IIHS Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ designations.
"Safety is a top priority and we're proud that Bronco earned top ratings in five IIHS crash tests, in addition to earning a superior rating for front crash prevention with standard automatic emergency braking," a Ford spokesman said in an emailed statement. "All of Bronco's safety features meet or exceed federal safety standards."
To qualify for a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must have "good" ratings in all six of the institute's crashworthiness tests. Vehicles also must be available with "good" or "acceptable" headlights and have front-crash prevention that the institute considers "advanced" or "superior."
Top Safety Pick+ is awarded to models that meet those requirements and also have "good" or "acceptable" headlights across all trim levels and packages.
In February, IIHS announced one Ford vehicle — the Explorer large crossover — earned a Top Safety Pick+ award. In addition, Ford's Escape compact crossover and Edge midsize crossover as well as the Lincoln Corsair compact crossover and Aviator large crossover earned Top Safety Pick awards.
The Bronco has been among Ford's most-hyped new vehicles since its introduction this year. Ford has sold 25,855 Broncos in the U.S. through November.