The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today named the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan a “Top Safety Pick”, continuing the company’s long-standing commitment to offering class-leading safety with each new model. In order to earn “Top Safety Pick”, a car must receive a rating of “good”, the Institute’s highest rating, in all of four tests – 40 mph frontal offset impact, side impact, rear impact protection/head restraint and rollover protection – and must be equipped an electronic stability control system like BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control.
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“The new 3 Series is a testament to BMW’s long tradition of passenger safety as well as to the men and women who engineer and build them,” noted Tom Baloga – Vice-President, Engineering (US) for BMW. “While we remain committed to providing the best possible passenger protection, we believe that the best crash is the one avoided. The new 3 Series offers even more active safety technology, firmly rooted in the dynamics and handling that have made it the quintessential sports sedan through six generations.”
The newest crash test being conducted by the Institute as part of its overall evaluation is the rollover protection test. Rollover ratings assess vehicle roof strength for protection in rollover crashes. To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle’s roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle’s weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio.
The Institute believes that electronic stability control is so beneficial that, in order to be deemed a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must have it. BMW introduced Dynamic Stability Control for the 1995 model year and made it standard on every model sold in the US beginning in 2000.
In addition to Dynamic Stability Control, ABS brakes, Bluetooth mobile phone integration, front and side airbags and head protection airbags, the new 3 Series sedan makes available features previously introduced on higher-end models. These include a full-color Head-up Display, Lane Departure Warning, Rearview Camera with Top-View and Blind-Spot Warning.
Models equipped with BMW AssistTM also receive BMW’s industry-leading enhanced Automatic Collision Notification, developed in cooperation with the late Dr. Jeffrey Augenstein and the William Lehman Injury Research Center. In the event of a collision severe enough to cause an airbag deployment, BMW Assist with eACN uses an algorithm developed in cooperation with WLIRC to use data from the vehicle’s crash sensors to assess the risk of severe injury. That assessment is transmitted to the call center, along with the vehicle’s location, providing first responders with information that will better prepared them, potentially saving precious minutes when they arrive on an accident scene.