CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- The Chattanooga-made Passat is one of just 13 cars, and the only vehicle by a German automaker, to pick up the top safety rating from a national group.
The Passat midsize sedan received a "top safety pick +" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The vehicles, all midsize cars, were cited for superior crash test protection by the IIHS. To earn the ranking, vehicles must have "good" ratings for occupant protection in at least four of five evaluations with no less than an "acceptable" score in the fifth test, according to a IIHS news release.
Frank Fischer, chief executive of VW's Chattanooga operations, said he was "very pleased" with the factory's 2012 results, citing not only the volume of cars produced by plant workers but the quality of the Passat.