For immediate release
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. - The 2001 Volvo S80 luxury sedan has been awarded the highest rating for crashworthiness by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and named a 'Best Pick' among mid-size luxury cars, the Institute announced this week.
The Institute's evaluation is based on actual performance in their frontal offset crash tests into a deformable barrier at 40 mph. This week's announcement puts the 2001 S80 at the top of the Institute's list of current mid-size luxury models tested, and one of only two awarded its top rating of "Good - Best Pick."
"The elevation of the 2001 S80 to the 'Best Pick' status reaffirms what we know about S80 from real-world experience," said Mark LaNeve, president of Volvo Cars of North America. "With more than 60,000 S80s on the road in the United States and continuous development of safety technology by Volvo Car Corporation, we are confident S80 will continue to meet the expectations of our customers."
The 2000-model S80 had been given a "Good" rating by the organization, but testers had questions about the vents in the airbag design. Although Volvo Car Corporation testing showed no similar concerns, the company announced it would make slight changes to the ventilation holes on the driver's airbag and deployment threshold algorithms.
"We appreciate the cooperation we have received from IIHS. As the industry leaders, we will continue to work with organizations interested in occupant safety," added LaNeve.
The 2001 Volvo S80 sedan features an array of best-in-class safety innovations, including driver and front passenger dual-stage Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbags which work in harmony with the car's three-point seat belts with pyrotechnic pre-tensioners. Standard equipment on the 2001 S80, this 'smart' system uses a sensor to register the severity of an impact and adapts the airbag inflation accordingly while coordinating actions with the seat belt. In case of a severe impact, the airbag is designed to inflate instantly to full capacity at the same time as the seat belt tensioner eliminates any slack in the belt. The belt then 'gives' slightly to gently restrain the occupant before the airbag takes over to complete the safety sequence.
In cases of less severe impact (impact still great enough to cause potential injury), the airbag is designed to inflate in two stages: inflation to 70 per cent of capacity followed by full inflation one-tenth of a second later. Occupants, particularly those sitting closer to the wheel or dashboard, are subject to less force when the bag deploys. The reduced inflation sequence is also used at lower speeds when the system determines that an occupant is not wearing a seat belt.
Since its introduction in 1998, the Volvo S80 has offered the most comprehensive occupant safety regime of any car in the company's history, and was the first car to be awarded the 5-star/5-star rating in the U.S. government's side impact (SINCAP) crash testing.
The Volvo S80 is the flagship of the 2001 Volvo automobile line that includes the compact S40 and V40, the sporty C70 coupe and convertible, the new Volvo V70 wagon and rugged Volvo Cross Country, and the new Volvo S60 sedan.
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