New crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that subcompact cars may not be very safe. The IIHS tested twelve of these “minicars” and none received the highest rating of “good.” The Chevrolet Spark earned the second-highest rating, “acceptable.” Six of the other subcompact cars that were tested were rated “poor.” The Nissan Versa, the best-selling subcompact car, was among the cars to receive the “poor” rating. All of the cars tested were model years 2013 or 2014.
Joe Nolan, IIHS’s senior vice president for vehicle research stated, “Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection.” The subcompact cars were tested in the IIHS’s small overlap test, which was developed two years ago. The test simulates what occurs when an automobile’s front corner hits another car or something like a utility pole. During the test, twenty-five percent of the vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side hits a sturdy barrier traveling at 40 mph. The federal government’s frontal crash test, on the other hand, has a car hit a sturdy barrier head-on traveling at 35 mph. The IIHS commented on its own test, stating that striking only part of the front end makes it more difficult for vehicles to manage the energy created by a crash. A number of the subcompacts’ structures collapsed upon impact, which, in the real world, could lead to worse injuries because the seats, air bags, and other components get pushed out of place.
IIHS stated that the Honda Fit was one of the poorest performers in regards to potential driver injuries. When the Honda Fit was tested, the steering column moved so far into the car that the dummy’s head slid off the air bag and slammed into the instrument panel. Honda responded to the test results by stating that the 2015 Fit, which will go on sale in a few months, should earn a top rating on the IIHS’s small offset test. The current Fit has received top ratings in the IIHS’s four other tests. Another one of the poorest performers, the Fiat 500, fell apart during the test when the crash impact ripped the door hinges off the car. The Fiat, similar to the Fit, has received top ratings in the other tests. The other cars that received poor ratings were the Mitsubishi Mirage, Hyundai Accent, and Toyota Prius C. Cars that earned “marginal” ratings were the Mazda2, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, and Kia Rio.
Subcompact cars fare poorly in new crash tests www.palmbeachpost.com January 22, 2013
Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona are attorneys who make consumer safety a number one priority. The Friedland | Carmona consumer advocates believe that drivers must have access to safety information about the vehicles that they choose to purchase and feel safe in those vehicles as they operate them about the roadways. Serious automobile defects are often not found until it is too late. The Coral Gables personal injury attorneys have spent over twenty years helping their clients recover compensation for injuries suffered as a result of a malfunctioning part in an automobile. If you or a loved one has been injured in an unsafe vehicle, call a Miami Beach motor vehicle accident attorney today at (305) 661-2008 for your free consultation. Don’t hesitate, as the law places strict restrictions on when these claims can be brought! Call today!
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