The 2011 Nissan Leaf has already got a wide list of recognitions in the area of design, function, and engineering. The Nissan Leaf was awarded with 2010 Green Car Vision Award and the 2011 European Car of the Year Award. Recently achieved top safety award was also added to the honorary recognition list. On April 26, 2011 the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt that became the winners of the Top Safety Pick. It was the first-ever United States crash evaluations of the plug-in electric vehicles, undergoing the same tests that regular vehicles do. IIHS Chief Administration Officer, Joe Nolan, claimed, The way an electric or hybrid model earns top crash test ratings is the same way any other car does. Its structure must manage crush damage so the occupant compartment stays intact and the safety belts and airbags keep people from hitting hard surfaces in and out of the vehicle.
In accordance with the regulations of IIHS the participating cars are estimated as per their results, achieved after passing frontal impact test, side impact and roof strength tests. The vehicles must be equipped with electronic stability control. In order to be a winner of the Top Safety Pick, the participating car is to get the highest points in all four tests. The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt met the requirements and earned the top rating for front, rear, side, and rollover crash protection.
The safety ratings are very important for customer since the safety marks can be used to evaluate the automobile. Top Safety Pick award confirms the Chevy and Nissan commitment to safety. The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt entered the list of 80 other Top Safety Pick automobiles for the 2011 model year.