To earn a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must score top "good" ratings in the IIHS' offset frontal and side impact tests. They must also earn the top rating in a rear impact test that measures the effectiveness of seat and head restraints. Finally, since 2007, vehicles going through the IIHS regimen must have standard electronic stability control.
Ford took the occasion of this announcement to promote the award-winning 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and make another fuel economy jab at Toyota: "The new Fusion Hybrid’s class-leading fuel economy bests the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city. It also features Ford’s innovative SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide, which coaches hybrid drivers to maximize fuel efficiency."
Ford is the one U.S. automaker doing well right now; their careful planning and dedication to fuel-saving products and small cars years ago, before eco-friendly became trendy, is now paying off handsomely. It's a dead cold winter for the automotive industry; GM was the carefree grasshopper when times were good, Ford more like the determined ant.