ARLINGTON, VA - The Audi A6 and Volkswagen Passat have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) top safety accolade following good performance for roof strength in rollover crashes.

The award recognizes vehicles that earn the top rating of good for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control (ESC). Both of these cars are redesigned for MY-2012.

In the Institute's roof strength evaluation, the roof of the A6 withstood a force equal to 4.9 times the car's weight. The roof of the Passat withstood a force equal to 6.3 times the car's weight. The test assesses how well the occupant compartment would hold up in a rollover crash. Vehicles with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher earn a good rating. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight.

The roof strength performance for the A6 is an improvement over the previous model, according to IIHS, which withstood a force equal to 3.8 the car's weight in the same test, earning an acceptable rating.

The previous generation of the Passat earned the Top Safety Pick award for the 2009 - 2010 model years. The previous generation was rated good for rollover protection with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.8 the car's weight. That version of the Passat was discontinued for 2011.

Both of these cars have Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard equipment. ESC is required by federal regulation as of September 1, 2011.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet