Half of small cars do poorly in IIHS crash test.


The AP (8/8, Krisher) reports that six of 12 small cars tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed well in front-end crash test. Only the two-door and four-door Honda Civil models earned “good” ratings with the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Scion tC receiving “acceptable” ratings. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic and the Volkswagen Beetle got “marginal” ratings, while the Nissan Sentra and the Kia Soul and Kia Forte were rated “poor.” The AP notes that sales of small cars are up 12% this year as consumers seek good gas mileage. According to the AP, “the IIHS tests are more stringent than the U.S. government’s full-width front crash test.”

The New York Times (8/8, Jensen, 1.68M) notes that IIHS has now evaluated four vehicle segments in small-overlap tests and those test have led to conclusions about what makes vehicles do poorly in the test. IIHS noted that problems usually related to the vehicle’s structure and restraint systems.

Reuters (8/7, Lewis) notes that in the worse cases, “safety cages collapsed, driver airbags moved sideways and the crash dummy’s head hit the instrument panel, and side curtain airbags did not deploy or provide enough protection.” Meanwhile, the small cars fared worse in the test than mid-sized family sedans but better than small SUVs.

Also reporting is the Detroit News (8/8, Shepardson, 119K).