Hyundai Marks New Safety Lab With Two More IIHS Top Picks+

Hyundai adds two EV models to IIHS’s Top Pick list with Ioniq 6 and the Genesis Electrified GV70.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

September 13, 2023

3 Min Read
Hyundai Safety Center
Hyundai executives gather to open new safety center in Michigan. Hyundai Group has 28 models on IIHS Top Pick list.

SUPERIOR TWP., MI – Hyundai Group’s momentum with sales and quality in North America extends to safety ratings too, as the company’s Ioniq 6 and Genesis Electrified GV70 this week will be added to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Picks+ list of ratings.

IIHS has toughened its requirements for the designation in 2023. As a result of the tougher criteria, only 48 models qualify as 2023 Top Safety Picks. Of those, 28 earned “Top Safety Pick+.” A year ago, before changes to the award requirements, there were 101 winners, including 65 earning the higher-tier designation. Vehicles must earn an acceptable or good rating to qualify for Top Safety Pick, while a good rating is required for the “plus.” The Top Safety Pick+ criteria also nclude another new evaluation, the nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front-crash prevention test.

IIHS President David Harkey, speaking at the opening of Hyundai’s $51.4 million Safety Test & Investigation Laboratory in Superior Township, MI, says Hyundai’s progress over the past 17 years in safety engineering is impressive. ”In 2006, Hyundai had two Top Safety Picks, and today it has 26,” says Harkey.



The Hyundai Group now has five models on the IIHS Top Pick+ list: Genesis G90, Genesis Electrified GV70, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride. Two are battery-electrics: the Electrified GV70 and Ioniq 6.

Hyundai’s leadership says its record for safety stems from Hyundai Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun’s internal edict of “Safety First.” “Especially as we develop more and more electrified vehicles, and we are in a new era of engineering, we have an opportunity to up our game –  every company does –  to reduce traffic fatalities, which were almost 43,000 last year and rising,” Jose Munoz, Global President and Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor Co., and President & CEO, Hyundai and Genesis North America, tells Wards.

Among the changes Hyundai has made in recent years is to make many of its active safety features standard on all vehicles: forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection; blindspot collision-avoidance assist; blindspot view monitor, lane following assist, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning.

Brian Letouf, global chief safety officer, HMC, says the EV era presents new opportunities for enhancing safety. “The design of an EV architecture actually offers greater opportunity to optimize safety engineering, versus an ICE vehicle, because you don’t have to spend a lot of time on packaging all the aspects of an ICE engine in the vehicle.”

Letouf says that Hyundai is constantly testing its active safety systems against distracted driving habits as that issue is accounting for more and more accidents and fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 25% of all car crashes involve driver distraction or inattention, and that percentage is trending up.

Consumers will notice as they increasingly experience EVs that they are roomier than they may appear from the outside because packaging batteries is a lot simpler than packaging an ICE architecture, Latouf says. “We think that is one of the great appeals of our EVs,” he adds.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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