New IIHS Crash Test Reveals Problems with Popular Car
In California and throughout the U.S., drivers rely on the results of crash tests in order to determine whether a vehicle is safe or not. One recent new crash test indicates that one of the most popular cars on the market may have an unexpected weak area when it comes to safety, explained a California car accident attorney.
According to CNNMoney.com, the Toyota Camry is the most popular car in America. The Toyota normally performs fairly well in crash tests, with the 2013 model earning top marks in side impact crashes, rear impact crashes and overall crash safety. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently subjected the Camry, as well as 18 other similarly priced vehicles, to a new test.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) established a new test in which a vehicle going 40 miles per hour crashed into a barrier from the front. Unlike most front impact crash tests, however, this new test involved only one small portion of the car’s front bumper on the driver’s side. Because only this portion of the front bumper was hit, the impact of the crash resulted in the force being concentrated only in one spot. The scenario is one that could occur in a number of different car accident situations, including a collision when one car is turning left and is struck in the front bumper or a situation where a head-on collision is imminent and the car swerves so only the front bumper is hit.
The Camry did not perform well in this new crash test. The Camry was put up against 18 different vehicles with a similar price point. Of the vehicles involved in the test, the Camry was one of the worst. Another popular Toyota model, the Prius v hybrid wagon, also performed poorly. These two cars had the worst rating of the cars involved in the crash test. Other vehicles, including the Honda Accord sedan and the Suzuki Kizashi, fared better and were given the IIHS’s top rating on the test. When the IIHS had performed a similar test with 11 luxury vehicles earlier, only two out of the eleven vehicles tested obtained a similar top rating.
The Dangers of the Camry
The Toyota Camry performed poorly on the new test for several reasons. One major problem was that the front wheel of the Camry was pushed back when the targeted impact occurred. This forced the footwall of the passenger compartment to tilt inward, encroaching on the space within the vehicle.
This was not the only problem with the Camry. Another issue caused by the impact was that the steering wheel was pushed very far to the right. The airbag was pushed so far to the right that it provided little protection for the head of the crash dummy. Side air bags did not pick up the slack for the front airbag since they didn’t extend far enough to cushion the blow. This creates a dangerous situation for someone in a crash because he or she could suffer a traumatic head injury.
The Prius, while it reacted differently to the impact, also failed to provide sufficient protection. There were two fundamental problems with the Prius. One issue was that the passenger compartment crushed inward. The other problem was a delay in the deployment of the airbags in the vehicle. Because of this delay, the Prius also did not provide protection from head injuries.
This new test indicates that Toyota has a lot of work to do if they want their vehicles to be among the safest cars on the road. Car buyers in California and throughout the United States should be aware of new developments in crash test ratings and should carefully review crash test data before making a purchase of any vehicle.
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