The next time you’re driving behind a semitrailer take notice of that metal bumper hanging off the back. That’s the underride guard, and its job it to prevent your minuscule hatchback from hurdling beneath its hulking mass on the off chance that you have a collision.
Sadly, not all guards are created equal and some buckle during an accident — allowing the car’s passenger compartment to impact the rear of the trailer, frequently shearing off the part of the vehicle that your head occupies.
To further scare you out of tailgating trucks, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a 2011 report stating that the majority of those guards would fail and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s minimum structural guidelines for underride bars was inadequate. While some manufacturers had begun installing stronger and safer guards, mainly to satisfy higher Canadian standards, the initial round of IIHS’ testing resulted in most underride guards failing in a 30-percent overlap test. (Read More…)
Things became grim the moment the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety added headlight performance to its testing regimen. An initial report on midsize cars came back with only a single vehicle receiving a good score, and IIHS wasn’t any kinder toward SUVs or pickup trucks. The general consensus seemed to be that most headlights are absolutely terrible at providing adequate visibility but great at blinding oncoming traffic.
Adding headlight effectiveness to the ratings criteria for the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick+ designation ended up cutting the previous year’s list practically in half. Down from 79, only 38 models received the safety plus appointment under the new measurements. (Read More…)
The folks in Dearborn are right chuffed about the F-150’s latest crash results — so much so that they sent out embargo materials to a number of outlets, including us (thank you!), to make sure we get the story straight.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the F-150 SuperCab — in addition to the SuperCrew tested last year — is now a Top Safety Pick, when equipped with optional forward collision alert. Ford is the only brand awarded as such in the segment.
The latest round of tests comes after Ford was caught with its pants down last year. Those tests found that not all F-150s were created equal when it came to withstanding the dreaded small overlap frontal crash test.
This year, it’s more of the same — but the trucks behaving badly aren’t Fords.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday announced significant changes to its tests and rating system for every new car in the U.S. Beginning in 2018, new cars will be rated on a five-star system, in half-star increments (for the first time), and will encompass information from new tests — including front overlap crashes already in use by other safety organizations — and pedestrian impact information.
The proposed changes would place an emphasis on active safety features such as blind spot monitoring and crash avoidance systems. The announcement Tuesday followed a statement last month that the agency would recommend automatic emergency braking on new cars beginning in 2018.
“The changes provide more and better information to new-vehicle shoppers that will help accelerate the technology innovations that saves lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. (Read More…)
Metal bars welded to the Ford F-150 Super Crew in front and behind its front wheels that helped it pass the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s notoriously difficult small-overlap crash cost roughly $58, Automotive News is reporting.
It was revealed last week that the low-cost part was left off of regular- and extended-cab models, prompting the insurance organization to retest the F-150 models and revise their ratings much lower than the original test.
According to Automotive News, Ford stopped short of saying that it would include the low-cost parts on the regular- and extended-cab versions of the truck, but said it would install “countermeasures” to improve crash performance. The regular and extended cab comprise about 5 and 25 percent of overall F-150 sales respectively.
Automotive News is reporting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will rate versions of Ford’s F-150 pickup with dramatically different safety ratings after re-testing versions of the pickup, which is a highly unusual move for the safety nonprofit.
The SuperCrew cab version of the F-150 earned the highest marks from the IIHS in its small overlap crash test, earning a Top Safety Pick rating. The re-tested SuperCab registers only a “marginal” rating in the same crash.
The difference, according to Automotive News, are tubular frames called “wheel blockers” installed on the SuperCrew, but missing from the SuperCab and Regular Cab models.
Per a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, driver fatalities in the United States have fallen by a third over the past three years.
After a poor performance at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Honda has redesigned the front end of the 2015 Honda Fit to correct an issue with the compact’s front bumper beam.
Reuters reports the original fatality figure of 13 allegedly linked to the out-of-spec ignition switch that spurred a recall of 2.6 million General Motors vehicles this February may now actually be as high as 74.
Bloomberg reports now-former General Motors engineer Brian Stouffer conducted a two-year internal investigation into the out-of-spec switch at the heart of the automaker’s current recall crisis, only to find confusion and resistance along the way to finding answers as to why vehicles up through 2008 were stalling out. In addition, Stouffer reported to three different executives assigned to the investigation in one year as it moved along, as well as the lack of sufficient cases that met the criteria required. Only in late 2013, when Delphi responded to Stouffer’s inquiry by providing the document showing the changes made to the switch back in 2006, did the investigation come to a head.
Automotive News reports the repairs of some 2.6 million vehicles affected by the 2014 General Motors ignition switch recall will be delayed by one week as the needed part slowly enters into the automaker’s dealership network. Though most dealers thought they would be receiving the part Monday, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly insisted the part was set to arrive sometime during “the week of April 7”:
We plan to send letters this week informing affected customers that parts are arriving at dealerships and to schedule a service appointment with their dealer. Repairs are likely to begin to follow soon after the customer letter mailing.
Until then, dealerships may face service backlogs, especially with affected vehicles already on the lot that cannot be sold until they are repaired, which can only happen once customer vehicles go through the 30-minute swap. On the other hand, while dealers have noticed some frustration from their customers, the majority of their base was found to be patient with the status of the repair plan.
Automakers and auto enthusiasts alike aren’t fond of the differing safety standards in Europe and the United States. Having to satisfy two different standards means increased costs for car companies that want to compete on a global scale and it also means that car enthusiasts on both continents are often deprived of desirable cars on sale in the other market. But according to Automotive News, lobbyists for automakers in the U.S. and Europe are hoping to use current negotiations over a free-trade agreement to harmonize safety standards and they are using academics to make their argument. (Read More…)
If reliability is the No. 1 trait your next car must have, you may then opt to visit your nearest Lexus dealership before considering anything from the Ford dealership across the street as far as Consumer Reports is concerned.
Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducts its own independent crash testing of new cars, added the “small overlap test” to its rating procedures. That particular crash test simulates a 40 mph collision wherein the front driver side corner of the car strikes an oncoming car or a fixed object like a utility or light pole. Twenty five percent of highway deaths in head-on collisions are from that type of wreck. The IIHS yesterday released test results for the newly redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla and the compact sedan only received a “marginal” score. According to Automotive News, the Corolla cannot earn the institute’s Top Safety Pick honors, which are restricted to cars that have “acceptable” or “good” scores on all crash tests. (Read More…)