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Subaru Legacy Earns First-Ever IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick Gold’ Award

Cherry Hill, New Jersey -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that the 2006 Subaru Legacy earned the highest rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests. The 2006 Subaru Legacy received "GOOD" ratings in the frontal, side and rear-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions. Based on this performance, the IIHS gave the 2006 Legacy a first-ever "Top Safety Pick Gold" award.

The IIHS Top Safety Pick is a new award that recognizes car designs that afford the best protection for people in front, side and rear crashes. This new award provides consumers with an overall vehicle assessment based on all three tests. Only two "Top Safety Pick Gold" awards were given in the mid- size vehicle class.

"The safety of our customers is of the utmost importance to Subaru," said Fred Adcock, executive vice president, Subaru of America, Inc. "That's why we were so pleased to receive the Top Safety Pick Gold award from the IIHS for the 2006 Legacy, as further validation of our commitment to overall occupant safety."

The IIHS provides consumers with vehicle safety information, primarily front and side crash test results, and now rear impact, to aid consumers in their vehicle purchase decisions. The test results are relayed to consumers via a simple rating system - poor, marginal, acceptable and good, with good being the highest. The IIHS crash tests are conducted at speeds higher than required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for both side impacts, at 31 miles per hour, and frontal offset barrier impacts, at 40 miles per hour. The rear crash test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck at 20 miles per hour, and is a measure of the effectiveness of the head restraint geometry. The new awards provide consumers with the ability to compare cars' ratings more quickly and easily. The results can be found at

Subaru Making Safety Standard

Subaru vehicles have set an outstanding safety standard in their respective segments, many achieving the highest marks in crash tests conducted both by government and private agencies. To Subaru, safety means far more than protecting a car's occupants in the event of a collision. Ideally, a passenger vehicle should provide the driver with the means to avoid hazardous situations. Subaru calls the concept Active Driving/Active Safety. Designing a vehicle for active safety gives a driver a strong sense of control, maneuverability and security.

Active Safety

Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive forms the core of the Subaru Active Driving/Active Safety concept. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive gives a Subaru a significant traction advantage over two-wheel drive cars (front- and/or rear- wheel drive) on all road surfaces. All Subaru models are equipped with a standard 4-channel / 4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) to prevent wheel lock-up and help preserve steering ability under hard braking. On most Subaru models including the 2006 Legacy, an Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) system automatically optimizes front / rear brake force distribution (based on vehicle load) more quickly than a mechanical proportioning valve can.

Passive Safety

The compact Subaru Boxer engine helps enhance safety, because it allows more crush room in front and on the sides. Subaru vehicles are designed to allow the entire powertrain to slide under the car along the floor tunnel in a severe collision, helping to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. All Subaru models are built around a Ring Frame Reinforced body structure design that incorporates front and rear crumple-zone construction to absorb the energy of an impact and help protect the reinforced passenger compartment. Essentially, the Ring Frame Reinforced structure forms a series of "rings" around the passenger compartment, providing excellent protection in a variety of collision types. This structure increases cabin rigidity and can absorb impact energy from any direction.

In the 2006 Legacy models, tailored-blank welded B-pillars help absorb impact energy in a side collision. A tailored blank is made from several pieces of sheet steel, usually of differing thickness and properties. These are joined by laser welding and stamped into the desired shape in a die. The ability to place steel pieces of optimal thickness and grade precisely where they are needed helps build in structural rigidity without adding excess weight. Strengthened front and rear door latches also contribute to side impact protection.

Advanced New Restraint Systems

All Subaru models incorporate electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters in the front three-point seatbelts. These systems work together to gradually restrain the occupants and absorb the impact energy of a frontal collision. The seatbelt pre-tensioners operate simultaneously with the front air bags and cinch the front seatbelts to help restrain the driver and front passenger in their seats. The mechanically operated torsion-bar force-limiters extend the belts to reduce the belt forces on the occupants' torsos. The seatbelt mechanism also absorbs energy through internal deformation.

All 2006 Subaru Legacy vehicles feature the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System. This intelligent airbag system employs dual-stage-deployment driver and front passenger airbags. A seat position sensor on the driver's seat track detects if the driver is sitting too close to the airbag, in which case the system would delay deployment of the airbag's second stage. The passenger side front seat incorporates an occupant detection module that detects weight on the passenger seat - determining if it's a child or adult - to control airbag deployment.

All 2006 Subaru models are equipped with the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) for securing specially equipped child seats in the rear seat. Subaru sedan models are equipped with an internal emergency trunk release with a self-illuminating handle.