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Saab 9-3 Ranks Among Safest Convertibles - VIDEO STORY

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DETROIT - July 2, 2007: Some convertibles are safer than regular vehicles, according to a crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Among the ten mid-sized convertible models tested, the agency ranked the Saab 9-3 and Volvo C70 as the safest. Automakers from Saab say they created a safer vehicle by reinforcing the windshield header rail, A-pillars and making the door sills wider and larger than in a regular sedan. This is the first convertible safety test of its kind.

To qualify for ‘Top Safety Pick’ award, a maximum ‘good’ rating must be recorded in each of three demanding tests involving frontal and side impacts and an evaluation of seat/head restraint protection in a simulated rear-end impact. The vehicle must also offer electronic stability control and convertibles must be equipped with roll bars.

“We are delighted that these IIHS findings confirm our own crash test results,” says Per Lenhoff, head of Safety at Saab Automobile AB in Sweden . “This reassures consumers that the 9-3 Convertible is among the very best in its class for crash safety.”

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As part of its on-going work with crash safety, Saab has led the automotive industry in pioneering the development of active head restraints to help prevent neck injury in rear-end impacts. Saab Active Head Restraints (SAHR) are standard equipment to the front seats of all its current car models. The 9-3 Convertible is also equipped with Saab Dynacage, which includes pop-up roll bars to help provide protection in the event of a roll-over crash or an impact that could lead to a roll-over.

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The IIHS frontal crash test assesses structural performance and potential injury to the driver dummy in a 40 mph (64 kph) impact against a fixed deformable barrier with a 40 percent overlap on the driver’s side.

For the side impact test, a deformable barrier simulating an SUV or light truck is propelled against a stationary vehicle at 31 mph (50 kph) on the driver’s side. Structural performance and potential injuries to a dummy at the wheel and another seated immediately behind are assessed.

In the dynamic seat and head restraint test, a seated dummy is mounted on a sled which is accelerated to 10 mph (16 kph) and stopped within 0.1 seconds, simulating the effect of a 20 mph (32 kph) rear-end impact. The test is designed to assess protection against neck injury.