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Subaru B9 Tribeca Earns 5-Star Safety Rating

Subaru B9 Tribeca receives the highest possible safety rating from NHTSA for frontal and side-impact crash tests for both driver and passenger seating positions

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Sept. 27 -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca, the all-new progressive SUV from Subaru, earned the highest rating in the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) crash tests. The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca received 5 stars in the frontal and side-impact crash tests for both the driver and passenger seating positions.

"The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca is already a standout in the mid-size SUV category with its dynamic styling, engaging driveability and real-world versatility," said Fred Adcock, executive vice president, Subaru of America, Inc. "Adding 5-star safety ratings to its list of accolades fully demonstrates our rigorous commitment to safety."

NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) provides consumers with vehicle safety information, primarily front and side crash test results, and more recently rollover resistance ratings, to aid consumers in their vehicle purchase decisions. The test results are relayed to consumers via an easily recognizable star rating system - from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest. The NCAP crash tests are conducted at speeds higher than required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for both side impacts, at 38.5 miles per hour, and full frontal barrier impacts, at 35 miles per hour. The tests are done to compare vehicles for the NHTSA Consumer Information Program and the results can be found at

Making Safety Standard

Subaru follows a practice of making safety technology standard. The Subaru B9 Tribeca is fully equipped with high levels of both passive and active safety equipment, as standard. Passive safety systems are the systems that help protect occupants in the event of a collision. Active safety systems are designed to help the driver avoid hazardous situations. In the B9 Tribeca, that includes features like front passenger occupant-sensing, dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, and side-impact seat-mounted and roof-mounted curtain airbags. A direct tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and a 4- channel/4-sensor ABS braking system with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) are also standard. The EBD system automatically adjusts front/rear brake proportioning based on vehicle load and is more effective than conventional brake proportioning valves.

Passive Safety

The 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca demonstrates the brand's reputation for exemplary passive safety - the technology that can protect occupants in the event of an accident. The B9 Tribeca unibody construction utilizes high- tension steel beams and impact-absorbing foam materials to enhance crash performance.

The foundation of passive safety (occupant protection) is the Ring Frame Reinforced structure, with a front-end structure that disperses collision energy in three directions. This design forms a series of "rings" around the passenger compartment, providing excellent protection in a variety of collision types. Hydroformed center pillars enhance side-impact protection, which is further bolstered by side-impact door beams. The compact Subaru Boxer engine contributes to safety, because it allows more crush room in front and side impacts. Subaru vehicles are designed to allow the entire powertrain to slide under the car along the floor tunnel in a severe collision, helping to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. In the rear, the spare tire is mounted underneath the vehicle to avoid intrusion into the passenger compartment.

The heightened focus on side-impact safety continues inside, where the B9 Tribeca features standard front seat side-impact airbags for thorax-area protection and side curtain airbags (front and middle rows) for head protection. Third row seat occupants are protected by the body structure as there is little glass in the rear seating area. Mounted in the upper sides of the front seatbacks, the front seat side-impact airbags offer protection regardless of seat position. The side curtain airbags deploy from the headliner. Sensors in the vehicle determine if an impact engages the center pillar (deploying side airbags, belt tensioners and curtain airbags) or just the rear seat area (deploying curtain airbags).

The intelligent dual front airbag system employs dual-stage-deployment driver and front passenger airbags. A seat position sensor on the driver's seat track detects if the driver is sitting too close to the airbag, in which case the system would delay deployment of the airbag's second stage. The system also takes input from a seatbelt buckle switch, to determine if the driver is using the belt. The passenger side front seat incorporates an occupant detection system that measures weight on the passenger seat - determining if it's a child or adult - to control airbag deployment. The system employs a pressure-activated bladder-type sensor located between the seat cushion and the cushion pan. In addition, the system takes input from a seatbelt tension sensor installed in the seatbelt anchor, as well as a seatbelt buckle sensor. The occupant detection control unit is installed in the seat cushion frame. If the system determines "empty seat" or "child" (based on weight thresholds), it sets the front passenger airbag not to deploy and illuminates the "pass airbag off" indicator. If an adult is detected, the passenger airbag will be set to deploy and the "pass airbag on" light illuminates.

All seating positions in the B9 Tribeca feature a 3-point seatbelt. The belt for the second-row middle passenger deploys from an anchor located in the headliner. All Subaru models incorporate electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters in the front three-point seatbelts. These systems work together to gradually restrain the occupants and absorb the impact energy of a frontal collision. The seatbelt pre-tensioners operate simultaneously with the front airbags and cinch the front seatbelts to help restrain the driver and front passenger in their seats. Next, the mechanically operated torsion-bar force-limiters extend the belts to reduce the belt forces on the occupants' torsos. The seatbelt mechanism also absorbs energy through internal deformation.

Active front head restraints are employed to help reduce potential whiplash injury in a rear collision. A safety brake pedal system and impact- absorbing driver's footrest are also used to help reduce lower leg injury in a frontal collision.

Active Safety

To Subaru, safety means far more than protecting a car's occupants in the event of a collision. Ideally, a car should provide the driver with the means to avoid hazardous situations. Subaru calls the concept Active Driving/Active Safety. Designing a vehicle for active safety gives a driver a strong sense of security by giving the driver control and maneuverability. Subaru has designed the B9 Tribeca with the crisp, agile handling that can help to provide outstanding accident avoidance. To that end, active safety in the B9 Tribeca begins with its "right size" proportions and reasonable weight, then moves to its dynamic handling systems - notably, the most advanced version of Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.

The system combines Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) All-Wheel Drive with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability control and four-wheel traction control to endow the B9 Tribeca with outstanding nimbleness and all-weather grip. The specific way Subaru has integrated these technologies results in one of the most effective traction and handling systems in the market today. VDC is a highly sophisticated stability control system that actively controls the center differential's power distribution by means of a continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch. The system distributes torque to the appropriate wheel based on input from steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors. It also monitors input from the ABS brake system, adjusting individual wheel braking as needed, helping to maintain vehicle control under a variety of driving conditions. Significantly, the B9 Tribeca does not employ its All-Wheel Drive and stability and traction control technology only to help keep the driver out of danger. These dynamic handling systems, combined with unique chassis tuning, make the B9 Tribeca more engaging to drive than other SUVs in its class.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2004. For additional information visit