The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today released its annual list of vehicles that had earned the agency’s coveted 'Top Safety Pick' award, revealing that some major milestones had been achieved. According to the president of the IIHS, Adrian Lund, "Top Safety Pick winners are the top performers in tough front, side, and rear crash tests, and they have electronic stability control, a crucial technology that can help drivers avoid many crashes altogether.”

While Ford topped the list with 16 of its vehicles being included, the real celebrations would have been taking place over at Acura. The premium Honda subsidiary garnered a 'Top Safety Pick' for every vehicle in its lineup, while the entire Honda group managed to get 13 of its vehicles into the list. One notable brand missing from the list was Lexus, who along with Infiniti, found many of its vehicles' head and seat restraints were inadequate to achieve the award.

Like Lexus, Chrysler also did not get a single vehicle on to the list. Both Toyota and General Motors had eight vehicles on the list, but their focus on less expensive vehicles made it difficult to include advanced safety features as standard on cheaper models.

A total of 72 cars were on the list, and a large number of these were in the SUV or large car category, however one notable exception to this rule was the Honda Fit (Jazz). As the only subcompact on the list, the Fit managed to shatter the myth that size equals safety, although the lack of other minicars indicates that it is difficult for carmakers to make these cars safe when the profit margins are already so slim.

The large number of offerings from Detroit indicate that new safety technology is hitting its mark, and the disappointing result from Chrysler was said to have been avoidable had some of their cars had better head restraints. Meanwhile, Ford now claims that the results show that American cars can compete with Japanese and European cars when it comes to safety.

The full lineup of Top Safety Pick winners is listed below:

Large cars
Acura RL
Audi A6
Cadillac CTS
Ford Taurus
Lincoln MKS
Mercury Sable
Toyota Avalon
Volvo S80

Midsize cars
Acura TL
Acura TSX
Audi A3
Audi A4
BMW 3-Series (4-door)
Ford Fusion (with optional ESC)
Honda Accord (4-door)
Mercedes C Class
Mercury Milan (with optional ESC)
Saab 9-3
Subaru Legacy
Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Passat

Midsize convertibles
Saab 9-3
Volkswagen Eos
Volvo C70

Small cars
Honda Civic (4-door with optional ESC, except Si)
Mitsubishi Lancer (with optional ESC)
Scion xB
Subaru Impreza (with optional ESC)
Toyota Corolla (with optional ESC)
Volkswagen Rabbit (4-door)

Honda Fit (with optional ESC)

Honda Odyssey
Hyundai Entourage
Kia Sedona

Large SUVs
Audi Q7
Buick Enclave
Chevrolet Traverse
GMC Acadia
Saturn Outlook

Midsize SUVs
Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Ford Edge
Ford Flex
Ford Taurus X
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Veracruz
Infiniti EX35
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes-Benz M Class
Nissan Murano
Saturn Vue
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Toyota Highlander
Volvo XC90

Small SUVs
Ford Escape
Honda CR-V
Honda Element
Mazda Tribute
Mercury Mariner
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota RAV4
Volkswagen Tiguan

Large Pickups
Ford F-150
Honda Ridgeline
Toyota Tundra

Small Pickups
Toyota Tacoma