Toyota Camry, the best-selling mid-size car in the U.S. performed so poorly on dummy damage tests that it has been rated “worst” according to Bloomberg.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety test intended to evaluate a crash in which the front corner of a vehicle collides with another car, a tree or pole. The Camry and the Prius V hybrid earned the lowest rating in this new crash test simulating a severe front-end collision. The two Toyotas received the only “poor” scores in a test that is more stringent than the U.S. government’s test, which simulates head on collisions.
“Toyota engineers have a lot of work to do to match the performance of their competitors”, Adrian Lund, the insurance group’s president, said in a statement. The insurance-industry funded group, based in Arlington, Virginia, said it introduced its so-called small-overlap test this year because that type of accident accounts for almost a fourth of frontal crashes that seriously injure or kill people in front seats.
“With this new test, the institute has raised the bar again and we will respond to the challenge,” Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We are evaluating the new test protocols and can say that there will not be one single solution to achieve greater crash performance in this area.”
Angela Greiling Keane, the Bloomberg reporter for this story, tells us that test results showed mid-size cars such as Honda’s Accord and Suzuki’s Kizashi that had “good” ratings performed better than most comparable luxury models. The insurance group released scores for mid-size luxury cars in August, finding most of the 11 models scored “marginal” or “poor” in the new test.
“It’s remarkable that this group of mid-size family cars did so much better than the mid-size luxury car group,” Lund said. “The difference is stunning. Thirteen of these mid-size cars offer better crash protection than all but three of their luxury counterparts, and at a price that’s easier on the wallet.”
Keane’s Bloomberg article continues with information about “Dummy Damage”. “The Camry and Prius V hybrid wagon were IIHS top safety picks in the crash tests that existed before this year. In those two cars, the only Toyotas to undergo the new test, structural components intruded into front-seat space where a driver would sit, the group said.
In the Camry, the crash shoved the front wheel into the footwell, bent the windshield pillar and pushed the parking brake pedal and left outer edge of the instrument panel back far enough to crush the driver’s body parts, the insurance group said. It said there was “significant” intrusion in the Prius V test coupled with “high forces” measured in a crash test dummy’s legs and feet. Those cars’ air bags deployed too late or not in locations to protect drivers, the test found.”
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