LORDSTOWN - The Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze has been ranked among the safest 2013 vehicles by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
It is the third consecutive year the Cruze has earned the Top Safety Pick award because of the small car's positive ratings for occupant protection in various crash tests.
Tom Mock, GM spokesman for the Lordstown complex, said the company frequently receives letters from customers who have survived major accidents in the Cruze and attribute it to the car's safety features. Mock said he has long believed the Chevy Cruze is among the safest small cars on the road today.
''That just validates that we continue to build a great, quality car,'' Mock said.
Adrian Lund, IIHS president, said the 117 models that earned the Top Safety Pick also offer outstanding protection in many crashes.
"These vehicles are much safer choices than most vehicles on the market just five years ago," Lund said.
Thirteen other vehicles were ranked higher in safety, with the IIHS awarding them the Top Safety Pick+ Award. Those awards went to models with "superior crash protection" and included the Acura TL; Dodge Avenger and its twin, the Chrysler 200 four-door; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord two-door; Honda Accord four-door; Kia Optima; Nissan Altima four-door; Subaru Legacy and its twin, the Subaru Outback; Suzuki Kizashi; Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60.
The Acura TL and Volvo S60 are midsize luxury cars. The other models are midsize moderately priced cars.
The safety awards are based on ratings in moderate overlap frontal crash tests, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap rating. They have been awarded annually since 2006.