A long-held “safe” car brand received poor test ratings in a new crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in results made public today.
In a recent session testing 18 mid-sized family cars including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, among others, the new Toyota Camry as well as the Toyota Prius V hybrid wagon both earned poor ratings in a 40 mph crash test.
The researchers tested vehicles striking a crash barrier where just a small portion of the front bumper on the driver’s side hit the barrier. The small overlap frontal crash test focuses the power of a collision on the weakest areas of the body.
The Camry was redesigned for 2012 and the Prius introduced a new model in 2012 as well. The IIHS said the force of the impact on the Camry shoved the front wheel back into the footwell, bent the windshield pillar and pushed the parking brake pedal and the outer left edge of the instrument panel into the driver’s “survival space.” The report said the driver’s airbag deployed, but the steering wheel moved so far to the right that the dummy’s head only made minimal contact with the front airbag and the side airbag didn’t extend far enough to prevent the dummy’s head from hitting the instrument panel.
The Prius had “significant intrusion” into the driver’s survival space as well as a lot of force on the dummy’s legs and feet. It also earned a poor rating for hip and thigh protection. The side airbag deployed too late to offer any protection.
The IIHS said the small overlap test was introduced this year in order to improve occupant protection. It is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole.
If you or your loved one has suffered any type of serious injury in a vehicle accident, you may want to discuss your situation with an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.