The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today that both the 2010 Hyundai Genesis and the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class have been named Top Safety Picks, the organization's highest award.
The real surprise is in the long-serving E-Class, which picks up its first-ever Top Safety Pick award thanks to some last-minute adjustments. IIHS specifically credits changes made earlier this year by Mercedes-Benz that added more padding in the doors, improving side impact ratings enough to get "good" ratings in front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests. This means that only cars built after March 2010 will receive the recommendation.
Top Safety Picks must get top marks in all four tests and be equipped with electronic stability control to even qualify for the award.
Joining the E-Class on stage is the luxury upstart from Hyundai, the Genesis sedan. Though the Genesis got good marks in its inaugural year, 2009, it wasn't quite enough to pick up a Top Safety Pick. Modifications to the roof structure improved the luxury sedan's rollover crash rating enough to win recognition from IIHS. As with the E-Class, the Top Safety Pick only applies to cars built after a certain date, in this case January 2010.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety