Toyota bombs new crash test; most family cars outperform luxury models
Suzuki, Honda score the highest on a 25 percent offset test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Like nine luxury cars the IIHS tested in August, the new Toyota Camry and Prius V scored "poor." The IIHS, a nonprofit organization of insurance companies, tested 18 new cars. Of the total, 11 earned an "acceptable" rating while another three were "marginal."
"In the Camry, the force of the impact shoved the front wheel back into the footwell, bending the windshield pillar and pushing the parking-brake pedal and the left outer edge of the instrument panel rearward into the driver's survival space," the IIHS said. "Likewise, there was significant intrusion in the Prius V, along with high forces on the dummy's legs and feet."
Toyota said in a statement that it would "respond to the challenge" and that "there will not be one single solution to achieve greater crash performance in this area."
Two of the cars tested earned a "good" rating: the midsize 2013 Honda Accord sedan and the Suzuki Kizashi, which will not be on sale next year due to Suzuki's pullout from the U.S. market. The only cars the IIHS has tested so far with equivalent "good" ratings were the Volvo S60 and Acura TL.
The latest "small overlap test" modifies the group's standard offset frontal impact test, in which a car collides with a 5-foot tall barrier at 40 mph. The previous offset test strikes 40 percent of a car's frontal area, while the new test hits just 25 percent. This kind of impact, the IIHS says, occurs in about a quarter of all frontal crashes in which front passengers are seriously or fatally injured.
The Suzuki Kizashi, left, kept its body structure intact, versus the Toyota Prius V, at right. (IIHS)
Other models that performed well, but not as well as the Kizashi and Accord, included the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Dodge Avenger, Subaru Legacy and Volkswagen Passat.
Normally, a car's safety cage is designed to keep the engine and other components from intruding into the cabin space during a head-on or offset frontal crash. But some popular cars, including the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, aren't strong enough to prevent their flanks -- plus the wheel and suspension components in this area -- from intruding the driver's side footwells and head space. In these worst cases, the frontal airbags move sideways and can't protect the driver's head, while serious leg and upper-body injuries can result from the pillars bending and deforming, the IIHS said.
The group does not yet factor the new test into its overall Top Safety Pick awards, hence the Camry's inclusion on that list. Eventually, automakers' performance in this test will have to be "acceptable" or "good" in order to have a top-scoring car.
The information is there if you are willing to research it. You also have to keep in mind that it's much more important to report on the vehicles that perform poorly then to report on the vehicles that performed well.
It's also worth mentioning that the test is new. However, the picture of the Prius V is down right scary.
And yet Americans still buy the Toyota name instead of actually doing research. There are many other lines that are making much better quality automobiles than Toyota over the last several years. Toyota can make engines, but the quality of everything else has taken a real nosedive.
Click on the link in the 2nd paragraph. It takes you to another article that states only one domestic did poorly. The rest were all Asian or European.
It appears that the focus of this article was to point out which models scored poorly, not those that did well.
It's sad to see the way people drive. They have no idea of the forces they are dealing with. If you decelerate a car from say, 80 mph to 0 such in a short time, like in a head-on, the force-multiplied comes out to a very large number.
Chances are, seat belts and airbags won't save you at that speed. The results of these tests suggest what can happen at even 40 mph.
Drive safely and courteously. Your big SUV isn't as strong as you think it is.
Its about time Toyota is outed as the huge fraud they are. For years the media has been kissing there azz and building them up to be some super car manufacturer. Finally someone has the guts to challenge them. Bravo. BUY AMERICAN
Its clear that their goal to manufacturer and sell more cars than anyone is continuing to affect quality. Now if the media would just cover it with the same tenacious record as they did say GM in the 70's and others, the world may truly see this company for what they are.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.