2011 Hyundai Sonata Earns Top Safety Rating From NHTSA

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif.  (Profitable.com)  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded an overall five-star crash test rating, the highest government ranking under the agency’s New Car Assessment Program, to the all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata withstood the agency’s more rigorous 2011 testing procedures to receive the top safety rating. Sonata is built from the ground up with safety in mind, with a hot stamped ultra-high-strength steel body structure, advanced airbag technology and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), delivering on Hyundai’s commitment to both active and passive safety technology leadership.

The 2011 Sonata launched earlier this year with Hyundai’s first-ever Gasoline Direct Injection engine, producing a segment-best 35 miles-per-gallon highway fuel economy rating. Two new Sonata variants – a 2.0-liter turbo and Hyundai’s first-ever hybrid – will hit showrooms this fall.  Sonata sales, up nearly 60 percent over 2009 through September, prove that its combination of standard safety, fuel economy and sleek design are hitting the mark with consumers in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment.

“The Sonata nameplate has historically raised the bar for safety in the mid-size sedan category, dating back to the introduction of standard Electronic Stability Control on the 2006 Sonata,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “The 2011 Sonata furthers our commitment to safety with a suite of equipment and third-party test results that are unsurpassed in the category.”

NHTSA’s upgraded ratings system will now evaluate side pole crash testing and crash prevention-technologies. And, for the first time, it will use female crash test dummies to simulate crash scenarios involving women, not just men. Sonata comes standard with six airbags—including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags—along with active front-seat head restraints.

Sonata was not only built to withstand accidents, it was designed to help drivers avoid them all together. The Sonata’s state-of-the-art braking system exemplifies its suite of active safety technologies. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on the vehicle loading conditions.

Other safety features include shingle-style rear-seat head restraints for improved visibility, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, front-seat seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters, and a rear-seat Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for child seats.

One of the most significant changes to the ratings program for consumers is the addition of an Overall Vehicle Score. The Overall Vehicle Score combines the results of a frontal crash test, side crash tests and rollover resistance tests and compares those results to the average risk of injury and potential for vehicle rollover of other vehicles. The 2011 Sonata scored well in all phases of the testing including five-star side-impact, five-star rollover and four-star frontal crash test, resulting in an overall five-star performance. This pertains to Sonatas produced from July 2, 2010 to September 7, 2010.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NHTSA is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. The agency strives to exceed the expectations of its customers through its core values of Integrity, Service and Leadership. NHTSA provides leadership to the motor vehicle and highway safety community through the development of innovative approaches to reducing motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through about 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.