With only some spotty crash-test scores available, the Lexus LS' safety profile isn't complete. Based on its excellent performance in the past, we're giving it a high score that also takes into account a raft of new safety technology that's been made available for the 2013 model year.
As of yet, neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has re-tested the LS completely, since changing their methodology in the 2011 model year. Before that change, both agencies gave the LS their top scores. As of now, only the IIHS has tested the LS in a limited way; it earns "good" scores for front-impact and rear-impact protection.
Lexus fits more standard safety gear than is required. On top of the usual features--front and curtain airbags, stability control--the LS also has front side and knee airbags and active headrests. Rear-seat side airbags are an option as well.
The Lexus LS also features a self-parking system that steers the vehicle into a parallel or row parking spot as the driver backs up; some will find it helpful and a safety aid, but to others it's a gimmick.
Lexus now offers an Enform and Safety Connect system on subscription basis; the telematic systems notify Lexus if the vehicle is involved in an accident and summon emergency personnel automatically.
Adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam headlamps are available once more. Among the new safety options this year are blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, a lane-keeping assist that nudges the car back into its lane when it senses a drift off course; and a new Pre-Collision Safety system with stereo cameras that can detect obstacles in the road ahead, with the assistance of infrared vision. With the optional system, the Lexus LS can bring itself to a complete stop if it detects trouble at speeds of up to 24 mph.