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IIHS News | May 12, 2011Subscribe

First roof strength tests of large pickups

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra are the only large pickups to earn the top rating of good in the Institute's roof strength evaluation that measures occupant protection in rollover crashes. The Nissan Titan is rated acceptable for rollover protection. The Chevrolet Silverado (and twin GMC Sierra), and Dodge Ram are rated marginal. The ratings only apply to crew cab versions of these pickups.

The F-150 and Tundra also earn the Institute's 2011 Top Safety Pick award after earning top ratings in previous front, side, and rear evaluations, and for having electronic stability control, which is standard in both pickups.

To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes.

In the latest tests, the Tundra's roof withstood a force of 4.5 times weight. The F-150's roof withstood a force equal to 4.7 times the vehicle's weight. Vehicles with a strength-to-weight ratio of 4 or higher earn a good rating. The good rating and Top Safety Pick designation for the F-150 apply to pickups manufactured after February 2011 because Ford made changes to the roof structure to better protect occupants in rollover crashes.

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