The United States is an important market for global automakers. The market size – 15 million units of annual sales – and picky consumers make it the fiercest competition. It is not only the nature and size of the market that creates the notorious US auto market; the world’s most demanding and rigorous collision safety assessments also contribute to the market with the highest standards. Among them, the most representative evaluation is the crash test conducted by the American Highway Safety Insurance Association (IIHS). IIHS’s evaluation is based on the reliability and reputation it has built over a long period of time, and has a great influence on how consumers around the world consider the safety of their cars.
IIHS, together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is one of the leading automotive safety research institutes in the US market, and is a non-profit organization supported by auto insurance companies. After its establishment in 1959, the organization publishes a list of the safest cars known as the IIHS Awards through its own crash safety tests. 90 cars were selected for this year’s 2021 IIHS Awards, and Hyundai Motor Group has maintained the top rank for having 17 models with the award for two years in a row.
TSP and TSP+ for winning the IIHS awards
IIHS gives two different kinds of awards – TOP SAFETY PICK (referred to as TSP), which is given to a vehicle that has undergone various crash tests with excellent performance, and a TOP SAFETY PICK PLUS (referred to as TSP+), which goes to the vehicles with the highest level of safety. In order to achieve TSP and TSP+, each vehicle must earn the highest grade in all categories in the collision safety category – ‘Good’, and ‘Advanced’ or higher for front crash prevention ratings.
Currently, the biggest difference that distinguishes TSP and TSP+ is the performance of the headlamps. Each participant must obtain ‘Acceptable’ or higher in the evaluation. Then the car can earn TSP if it offers the headlamp as an option, and TSP+, if not. In 2020, IIHS further strengthened the TSP’s minimum requirements, making it very close to TSP+. So, getting a car on the IIHS awards list has become even harder.
Hyundai Motor Group is proving its excellent level of safety technology through harsher evaluation standards. This year, IIHS gave TSP to 12 models from Hyundai Motor and Kia. Among them, some new models recently joined the lineup, such as Hyundai Venue and Kia Seltos. Despite their small size, the two compact SUVs scored the highest in almost all criteria, earning TSP.
In addition, Hyundai Motor Group has proven itself to feature improved safety by having five models with TSP+. Palisade, its new model year, has acquired TSP+ by offering the LED projection headlamp, which scored the highest in the headlamp evaluation in 2020. It was then selected for TSP+. The second and new-generation K5 also earned TPS+, and so did Genesis G70 and G90.
Vehicle safety assessments in countries around the world are getting more complicated day by day. Crash evaluation agencies are demanding more active safety technology development from automakers by continuously creating new evaluation standards that can reflect actual accidents, including the small overlap frontal crash test that caused a great impact on the industry. And in 2019, as SUV sales increased, the IIHS has greatly strengthened its side crash test criteria to effectively respond to SUV side crashes. The Far-side crash test, which was created last year by Euro NCAP, is also an evaluation assessment to prepare for more realistic side collisions.
It is now expected that automobiles will become a safer means of transportation with harsher test standards. And to keep up with on trends, Hyundai Motor Group is doing its best to provide the safest means of transportation to consumers by actively responding to such new safety standards. This is why consumers are looking forward to the safety evaluation results that Hyundai Motor Group’s soon-to-be-released models will get in the US market.