Car and Driver Names Heidi Montag 'Safest Passenger' for Front-End Airbags

Publication hails her constant improvements in quality and size.

EALITY television star Heidi Montag has received Car and Driver magazine's highest rating in its new "Safest Passenger" category for what the raters called "Montag's high-quality frontal airbag system, which protects not only herself, but any passengers who may come in contact with her front end during a collision."

In numerous crash tests featuring a carefully calibrated Heidi dummy, the life-sized doll was repeatedly spared any front-end damage, which, testers noted, "included protection of the entire torso, neck, and head areas because of the enormous size of the front-end airbags, as well as their advanced pre-deployed technology."

Testers rated the Montag's airbag system "excellent" for its ability to remain fully deployed at front-end collisions of up to 40 m.p.h. "even without seat restraints." However, the magazine warned that, when the Heidi dummy was thrown clear of the vehicle at higher speeds, "performance suffered from a dangerous tendency of the airbags to bounce off the ground and land the Montag unpredictably."

Although this scenario was still safer than the usual outcome for a driver who fails to use seat belts, it was frowned upon, not just as a general practice, but because of the risk to innocent bystanders "who might be in the path of an incoming Montag."

At lower speeds without restraints, testers praised the Montag's ability when thrown clear of the vehicle "to float on its reliably deployed silicone cushioning system until help arrives."

Car and Driver did give Heidi Montag lower marks for her lackluster performance in rear and side collisions, because of what the magazine called "the maker's singular obsession with front-loaded safety features, to the exclusion of all other regions except minor rear padding, which did not afford measurable protections."

All in all, Heidi Montag received a B+ for her "superior front-end airbag technology," as well as "her never-ending commitment to improving size and quality."

Ms. Montag's publicist says the reality star was "delighted" to hear the news, adding, "Heidi has never received a grade even close to a B+ before."