Every year is a safety year at Volvo Cars. The company is working towards the vision that by 2020, nobody should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo - and data from independent rating institutes all over the world emphasise and reinforce this life-saving philosophy. The most recent results are a Top Safety Pick+ for both the Volvo S60 and XC60 in the United States and an outstanding Best in Class ranking for the all-new Volvo V40 in the Euro NCAP summary for 2012.
"Viewed together, all the top ratings during the past year emphasise our world-leading position in automotive safety. We are very proud to offer consumers some of the world's safest cars," says Prof. Lotta Jakobsson, Senior Technical Specialist Safety at Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
At the recent 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Volvo Cars presented a new world first in safety. Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection is an enhancement of the present detection and auto brake technology. The added functionality detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car.
"Several studies have documented that our collision-avoiding systems lead to significant accident reductions in real-life traffic. By continuously introducing new preventive and protective systems, we keep moving towards our aim that by 2020 no one should be injured or killed in a new Volvo," says Lotta Jakobsson.
Here are the most prominent rating results for Volvo cars during the past 12-month period:
Record result for Volvo V40 in Euro NCAP
The all-new Volvo V40 achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating and also won the Euro NCAP's Best in Class Cars of 2012 in the tough Small Family class - with the best overall result ever recorded by the institute. The V40 also scored an all-time high in the pedestrian evaluation by attaining 88 per cent of the total score, which is significantly higher than the previous highest score.
S60 and XC60 earned new Top Safety Pick+
The Volvo S60 and XC60 are two of eighteen cars that were awarded the new Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). To be awarded the new ‘plus' rating, a car must earn good or acceptable results in the new small overlap test as well as top marks in other IIHS evaluations (moderate overlap front test, side test, rollover test and rear test). No less than three Volvo models - the C30, S80 and XC90 - earned a 2013 Top Safety Pick.
Best rating for the S60 and XC60 in the small overlap crash
In 2012, the Volvo S60 was one of two cars to earn the best rating in IIHS's new small offset frontal crash test. The test, in which 25 per cent of the car's front strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph (64 km/h), is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or object such as a tree or utility pole - a very severe crash situation. The Volvo XC60 was tested in 2013 and it also received the highest score in this test.
Five-star ANCAP rating for the V40
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) recently gave the all-new Volvo V40 a five-star rating according to the institute's stricter criteria, which were introduced in 2013. Emphasising the excellent pedestrian protection, ANCAP branded the V40 "the stand-out performer in today's rating".
Five-star Euro NCAP for the V60 Plug-in Hybrid
In 2012, the new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid achieved the highest ever Euro NCAP score for an electrified car. The five stars in the test, which included a frontal offset collision at 64 km/h (40 mph), demonstrate that the V60 Plug-in Hybrid has the same high safety level as the standard V60.
S60 first to get five stars in US-NCAP
In the United States, the S60 was the first car to be rewarded an overall five stars in the updated NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) 5-Star Safety Ratings, also known as US-NCAP. The S60 was the only car awarded five stars in each of the three crash tests (frontal, side pole and side barrier) - while also being available with all of the active safety technologies recommended by NHTSA.
Auto brake results in fewer accidents
The benefits of the groundbreaking City Safety technology - featuring automatic braking in low speed situations - have been documented in an IIHS report showing a significant reduction in insurance claim frequencies. A similar study by the Swedish insurance company Volvia in 2012 shows that Volvo cars equipped with City Safety are involved in 23 per cent fewer rear-end frontal collisions than cars without auto brake. In the UK, the limousine operator Tristar Worldwide, which serves Virgin Atlantic, released a study showing a reduction in the number of rear impact crashes of 28 per cent.
Since these studies were published, the City Safety technology has been upgraded. It is now active at speeds of up to 50 km/h (previously 30 km/h).