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Volvo seats get top scores in 2006 Thatcham whiplash tests



Once again, Volvo has achieved top scores in the latest, 2006 model year new car whiplash ratings by the UK's Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in Thatcham¹ which conducted the tests on behalf of the International Insurance Whiplash Prevention Group (IIWPG).


In fact, Volvo was one of only two manufacturers to achieve top 'Good' scores for every model tested² thanks to its supportive seats which have a fixed head restraint position to ensure they are always in the correct position to offer the best support, and the Volvo Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) that moves the entire backrest to absorb the impact during a rear-end collision to help reduce the forces on the neck.

Thatcham tested seats from 182 new cars and scored them in three categories: Geometric, Dynamic and Overall. Ratings range from a top score of 'G' (for 'good' protection), to 'A' (acceptable), 'M' (marginal), to 'P' (poor) and 'R' (manufacturer refused to submit seats).

According to the Thatcham tests, all Volvo seats were awarded the top 'G' score in all three categories, but by comparison the overall rating for all the Audi models tested was only 'A', and 'M' for Lexus, while four BMW models (including the 3-Series, X3, X5, and the standard seat in the 5-Series) were rated 'P' overall.


Matthew Avery, Crash Laboratory Manager at Thatcham said: "Volvo has shown a continuing commitment to safety, and their seats once again performed very well in our tests. This is supported by real world injury data which confirms that these seats do produce a significant reduction in whiplash injuries - Volvo continue to be the trend setter in this area."
Ingrid Skogsmo, Safety Director of the Volvo Car Corporation Safety Centre, said: "We are very pleased that the Volvo seats have performed in line with our expectations from our own tests and standards. This is one of several results that confirm Volvo has the right approach to help reduce neck injuries in rear impacts."

Dr Lotta Jacobsson, Technical Expert, Biomechanics, Volvo Cars Safety Centre added: "Since Volvo introduced WHIPS in 1998, the feedback from the Volvo Cars own real life Accident Research Team shows that WHIPS has halved the risk of long-term neck injuries in rear-end impacts, even compared to previous Volvo seats. Also, other independent field studies have shown a significant injury reduction."

Notes to Editors:
1. Full details of the 2006 model year results of the Thatcham Whiplash Testing are available at:
2. The Volvo S40, S60, S80, V50, V70 and XC90 all received the top 'Good' rating in the 2006 model year results of the Thatcham Whiplash Testing.
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