Malibu and Fusion Bumper Repair Costs Rise

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) low-speed bumper repair data [ download here] is good news for owners of the 2009 Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6 and Nissan Maxima: repair costs sank from 2007 levels. Moving beyond the headlines, the IIHS gives the Nissan a “poor” rating ($1,500 plus). And reports that the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and 2010 Ford Fusion’s bumper repairs costs have soared. “Ford fit the Fusion’s front and rear with weaker bumper beams, and this had a big effect on the test performance,” IIHS Veep Joe Nolan’s PR flack writes. “The difference is easy to see in the 6 mph full rear test, which simulates a common parking mishap like backing into another vehicle. The Fusion’s bumper buckled, which caused it to underride the test barrier, resulting in twice as much damage as the 2007 model in the rear test. In the full front test, the Fusion had $2,529 in damage, more than any other vehicle.” Malibu misegos the jump.

GM raised the Malibu’s rear bumper so it’s higher than on the earlier model, but it’s still the lowest among recently tested bumpers. In the full rear test, the bumper underrode the barrier, resulting in almost $3,500 in damage, the highest among the midsize cars evaluated. GM lowered the front bumper, which didn’t help in the full front test. Damage totaled $2,092, partly because the Malibu’s front grille overlays the center of the bumper. The result is that the grille, Chevy emblem, and decorative chromed plastic trim get hit before the bumper does in this test.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 29 comments
  • CarPerson CarPerson on Aug 06, 2009

    @441Zuke: First look for the "Shift" key on your keyboard.

  • Gimmeamanual Gimmeamanual on Aug 06, 2009

    If your "walking pace" is 6mph, you must have some long-ass legs my friend. Do they rate offset low-speed crashes? I would think a corner-corner hit would be more telling. Does the light bust, does the bumper splay out/over the rear fender, etc...

  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 06, 2009

    I miss the days when bumpers were separate units designed to take minor hits without disturbing anything. Typically they were chrome plated, or that cool rubber coated plastic honeycomb thing Saab used to use. The plastic body colored ones on just about everything today turn into $1000 + repairs from something as simple as hitting a shopping cart.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Aug 07, 2009

    If people learned to drive, then they won't have to worry about ripping off their expensive bumpers when trying to park.