Federal officials bestowed the nation's top safety rating on Ford's F-150 pickup truck, which the company said validated its decision to switch from steel to aluminum in model year 2015.
New pickup models from General Motors, however, received a lower rating from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.
The agency evaluated the four-door Super Crew version of the F-150, which accounts for the majority of sales of the country's top-selling vehicle. Ratings for the model's other two versions aren't yet available.
Ford officials elected to build the entire body of the 2015 F-150 with aluminum in an effort to make a lighter, more fuel efficient truck, but the decision was considered a risk given the model's nearly four-decade run as the top selling vehicle. The new model, however, performed better in safety tests than steel Ford pickups in recent years.
“Our truck team worked together for years to deliver this accomplishment, using an unprecedented combination of advanced materials throughout the all-new F-150," Ford global product development vice president Raj Nair said in a statement on the five-star rating.
Meanwhile, NHSTA gave four-star ratings to the Extended Cab versions of the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups. The models performed well in tests for side collisions but received three stars on the five-star scale for protecting against rollover crashes.
Full-size GM trucks Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra picked up five-star ratings, while the Dodge Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra and Tacoma models received four stars.