Hyundai has become the first carmaker to get its hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2019 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell electric SUV was given the Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS for vehicles built after June 2019.
The Nexo (only available in California, USA) is the first such hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that IIHS has tested. Hyundai says a vehicle such as the Nexo would not normally be included in the IIHS routine test schedule, but the company nominated it for early testing. Evaluating the Nexo was also beneficial to IIHS, by offering it its first opportunity to evaluate a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.
To qualify for a 2019 Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also needs an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good headlight rating. The Nexo premium SUV managed to get good ratings in all six crashworthiness tests.
Its standard front crash prevention system earned a superior rating. The vehicle avoided collisions in 12mph (19.31kph) and 25mph (40kph) track tests and has a forward collision warning system that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria. In addition, the car comes with standard high-beam assist, which may automatically switch between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.
Scott Margason, director, product planning, Hyundai North America, said: “Hyundai and its engineering team continue to make vehicles even safer with the addition of active standard safety features, prioritising cutting-edge safety and convenience at the forefront of the driving experience. Our Nexo further emphasises this priority on safety, with generous driver-assistance technologies and excellent passenger protection in a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.”
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