Top-Selling Vehicles Earn Low Ratings In IIHS Crash Test

January 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Car Safety

Media outlets have been reporting extensively that top-selling vehicle models have earned low safety ratings in recent car crash tests.

According to the reports, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety introduced a new crash test that verifies how well vehicles perform when they collide against a barrier at a particular angle. Recently, multiple models that hadn’t been submitted to this new crash test were subject to a new battery of safety testings and now, the results are in. The nonprofit organization funded by the insurance industry has reported that some of the most popular models of vehicles have not performed well in the new small-overlap offset frontal crash tests.

Vehicles with good safety ratings have been linked to several accidents that resulted in injuries, which happened to be, 25 percent of the cases, small overlap crashes. According to some safety experts, this type of collision causes serious and fatal injuries who occupy the front seats.

These tests show that in most cases, the airbags do not deploy quickly enough, which makes drivers and front-seat passengers vulnerable. Another issue that independent researchers found is associated with a potential gap between the side and front airbags, which are designed to be deployed only on a direct side impact.

These tests are performed by making the vehicle travel at about 40 mph before crashing it against a wall at an angle that exposes 25 percent of the car’s front side. Tests have indicated that after the first impact, vehicles tend to move sideways, while the occupants of the moving vehicle continue to move forward due to inertia, making the occupant vulnerable to being injured by colliding with the interior parts of the vehicle.

Recent vehicles tested included the Honda Accord and Accord coupe, Nissan Altima and Maxima, Subaru Outback and Legacy, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 6, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler 200, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Camry and Prius v hatchback.

Some of the most popular and best-selling vehicle models that have received poor ratings include the Toyota Camry and the Toyota Prius v hatchback. Models that received a marginal rating from the IIHS include the Hyundai Sonata, the Chevrolet Malibu and the Volkswagen Jetta.

The safest models included the Dodge Avenger, the Chrysler 200, the Honda Accord, the Honda Accord coupe, the Suzuki Kizashi, the Kia Optima, Mazda 6, the Ford Fusion, both Nissan and both Subaru models.

The Volkswagen Passat also got an acceptable rating as a result of the test.

Hopefully, automakers will take this new test into consideration while designing new models.

For the full report, click here.

 


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