Bumpers on 2009 models of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, and Nissan Maxima performed better than their 2007
predecessors in low-speed crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Bumpers on the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and 2010 Ford Fusion did worse than earlier models. Get the complete story at TheAutoChannel.com.
Volvo 50th Anniversary of Three-Point Seat Belt
On August 13, 2009, Volvo Cars will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
standard-fit three point safety belts, which appeared for the first time on
a Volvo PV544 delivered Thursday August 13, 1959 to a Volvo dealer in the
Swedish town of Kristianstad. Get the complete story on all automotive
issues at TheAutoChannel.com.
Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Completes Field Evaluation
Toyota announces the results of a recent collaborative fuel cell hybrid
vehicle range and fuel economy field evaluation. The Toyota Highlander Fuel
Cell Hybrid Vehicle achieved an estimated range of 431 miles on a single
full tank of compressed hydrogen gas, and an average fuel economy of 68.3
miles/kg (approximate mpg equivalent) during a day-long trip down the
southern California coast. Get the full details at TheAutoChannel.com.
Car Bumper Crashes Are Costly Watch Hummer and other SUVs Cr
Car Bumper Crashes Are Costly Watch Hummer and other SUVs Crash
IIHS: Federal Bumper Standards Should Apply to Light Trucks Cars, SUVs and
pickups share the road, but they don't share the same standard for bumpers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has petitioned the federal
government to regulate the bumpers on light trucks (SUVs, pickups, and
vans) just as it regulates those on cars. The same bumper rules should
apply to all kinds of passenger vehicles.
To meet federal rules, car bumpers must be 16 to 20 inches off the ground
and limit the amount of damage that can be sustained in a low-speed crash.
The idea is to ensure that the bumpers on colliding cars engage, absorbing
most of the energy of the impact and keeping damage away from
expensive-to-repair parts - like fenders, grilles, headlights, and
Car bumper rules don't apply to light trucks. In fact, it's still legal to
sell these vehicles without any bumpers at all. Federal regulators'
longstanding thinking is that requiring light trucks to have bumpers would
compromise off-road navigation and make it hard to use these vehicles at
loading ramps. The Institute counters that putting damage-resistant bumpers
on light trucks needn't compromise utility.
New SUV-to-car crash test results: A series of low-speed crash tests shows
why. The Institute details the results in its petition to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The tests involved 4 midsize SUVs
striking the back of a typical midsize car at 10 miles per hour. One of the
SUVs - a Ford Explorer - does a better job than 3 others (Hummer H3, Jeep
Grand Cherokee, and Mitsubishi Endeavor) of resisting damage in low-speed
crashes and minimizing damage to the vehicles with which it collides.
The front bumpers on the H3, Grand Cherokee, and Endeavor are so high that
they overrode the rear bumpers of the stationary Hyundai Sonatas in the
Institute tests. Damage to the Sonatas ranged from $3,891 to $4,737. Even
the SUVs sustained more than $1,000 damage each. In contrast, the Explorer
sustained less than $1,000 damage in the same front-into-rear test, and it
inflicted only about one-third as much damage on the Sonata as the worst
performer among the 4 SUVs, the H3.
Mini and microcar bumpers
IIHS news release • June 11, 2009
Mini and microcar bumpers allow pricey damage; none of the 7 tested rates
good under new system
ARLINGTON, VA — Urban drivers often pick mini and microcars because
they're affordable, fuel efficient, and easy to park on city streets.
Fender-benders are hazards of urban driving, and just one of them can add
up to thousands of dollars in repair costs because the bumpers don't
adequately protect vehicles from damage. None of the bumpers on 7 mini and
microcars the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently tested earns
the top rating of good, and just 1, the Smart Fortwo, is acceptable. Five
out of the 7 earn poor ratings and 1 earns a marginal.
Full text of news release: http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr061109.html
2009 Chevy Malibu vs 1959 Bel Air Crash Test
This crash test between a modern sedan and the classic 1959 Chevrolet Bel
Air shows just how far passenger protection has come in the last fifty
years. The Institute for Highway Safety staged the test to commemorate its
50th anniversary. Find more crash tests on our web site:
Low-speed vehicle crash tests
IIHS news release • May 20, 2010
ARLINGTON, VA - Low-speed vehicles and minitrucks shouldn't share busy
public roads with regular traffic
More states are allowing a relatively new breed of vehicle on public roads,
but crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show why the
mix of low-speed vehicles (LSVs) or minitrucks and regular traffic is a
deadly combination. LSVs are designed for tooling around residential
neighborhoods, and minitrucks are for hauling cargo off-road. While these
vehicles have a lot of appeal as a way to reduce emissions and cut fuel
use, they don't have to meet the basic safety standards that cars and
pickups do, and they aren't designed to protect their occupants in crashes.
Full text of release at http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr052010.html
Bumper tests of midsize sedans
IIHS news release • August 6, 2009
Bumpers on 4 of 6 midsize sedans improve; none earns good rating in
ARLINGTON, VA — Bumpers on 2009 models of the Honda Accord, Hyundai
Sonata, Mazda 6, and Nissan Maxima performed better than their 2007
predecessors in low-speed crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety. Bumpers on the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and 2010 Ford
Fusion did worse than earlier models. None of the 6 popular midsize sedans
earns the top rating of good in a recent series of tests designed to assess
and compare how well bumpers resist damage in everyday fender-benders. The
Mazda 6 improves to acceptable from marginal, with an average repair cost
of less than $900 after 4 tests at 3 and 6 mph. The Accord and Sonata
improve to marginal from poor. The Fusion slips to poor from marginal, and
the Maxima and Malibu remain poor.
Full text of release at: http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr080609.html
2003-2010 Ford Crown Victoria - IIHS Crash Tests
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Front and Side Impact crash
tests for the Ford Crown Victoria, as presented by Consumer Reports
The Ford Crown Victoria received the following ratings in the IIHS's crash
Frontal Offset: Good
Side Impact (No Airbags): Poor
Side Impact (With Airbags): Marginal