Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX earn IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards

When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety first crash tested the 2011 Ford Edge and 2011 Lincoln MKX, the crossover twins came close to becoming a Top Safety Pick. So why didn't the Edge and MKX take home the prestigious safety honor? The soft-roading duo didn't quite measure up to the institute's roof strength standards, as the lids of the CUVs only withstood pressure equal to 3.5 times overall vehicle weight. The minimum score required to become a Top Safety Pick is four times overall body weight.

Instead of waiting for the 2012 models to improve roof safety, Ford went back to the drawing board and changed the roof structure of both vehicles. That hard work has paid off, as IIHS testing shows that the roofs can now withstand a force equal to 4.7 times overall vehicle weight. With the newly strengthened roofs now in production, IIHS has now blessed the CUVs with Top Safety Pick status. Only models produced after February, 2011 can boast TSP certification, however. Hit the jump to read the brief IIHS press release.

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2011 Lincoln MKX
2011 Lincoln MKX
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Gallery photos copyright ©2011 Chris Shunk / John Neff / AOL

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]
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The Ford Edge and twin Lincoln MKX, both 2011 midsize SUVs, improve from acceptable to good for roof strength in rollover crashes and earn the Institute's TOP SAFETY PICK award. The award recognizes vehicles that earn the top rating of good for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and that have electronic stability control (ESC).

In the Institute's roof strength evaluation, the roof of the Edge withstood a force equal to 4.7 times the vehicle's weight. The test assesses how well the occupant compartment would hold up in a rollover crash. Vehicles with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher earn a good rating. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight. Institute research demonstrates that occupants of vehicles with strong roofs are much less likely to sustain serious injuries in rollover crashes.

Earlier Edge and MKX models were rated acceptable for rollover protection with a strength-to-weight ratio of 3.5. Ford made changes to the roof structure of both vehicles. TOP SAFETY PICK applies to models manufactured after February 2011.

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