Volvo earns highest safety marks with sweep of Top Safety Pick+ awards

Every 2021 Volvo model tested by the IIHS earned a Top Safety Pick+ award, the automaker announced Wednesday. A TSP+ award is considered the most rigorous safety honor in the industry, and reflects a vehicle’s ability to withstand six crash tests, avoid or mitigate crashes, and come with headlights that best illuminate roads at night.  

The 2021 Volvo S90 and S90 Recharge full-size sedans, as well as the V90, V90 Cross Country, and V60 Cross Country joined nine other Volvo models already on the TSP+ safety list. The 14 TSP+ models are the highest for any automaker, and represents the highest ratio of vehicles to earn the distinction within an automaker’s portfolio. The 2021 XC40 Recharge electric vehicle was the only Volvo vehicle yet to earn a TSP+ because it hasn’t been tested yet.

“Volvo has been setting safety records for years,” Anders Gustafsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA, said in a statement. “We’re proud to add this record to our history.”

The winners earned “Good” ratings in all six crash tests, and Volvo’s standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection earned top “Superior” ratings. The toughest criterion of late has been the headlight tests; to get the “+” designation, vehicles must come with headlights that rate at least “Acceptable” on all trims across the battery of tests, including glare tests for oncoming traffic and different grades of curves at night.

The S90, S90 Recharge, and V90 had headlights rated at “Marginal”, but Volvo upgraded the headlight systems in vehicles built after September 2020 to qualify for the award. 

The IIHS, a non-profit funded by the insurance industry, changes the criteria for the awards periodically based on automakers’ compliance. More vehicles earned TSP and TSP+ awards this year compared to last year; the total number of 2021 award winners, including Volvo’s latest, was 95 vehicles, compared to 64 in 2020. 

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