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IIHS Small Auto, Electric & Hybrid Crash Testing all over the Board!

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G. David Felt
Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer
www.CheersandGears.com

 

IIHS Small Auto, Electric & Hybrid Crash Testing all over the Board!

 

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/49/6/1

 

 

The recent IIHS testing of Electric and Hybrid auto's show just how far we have to still go to have safe small auto's. The video shows just how wide a difference there is in surviving a crash. The Chevy volt and Ford C-max were the only ones to receive an acceptable rating. Compare this to the Ultimate Nissan Leaf that received a poor rating in the latest crash tests. This also goes for a widely popular Mazda, Mazda 5 which received a poor rating.

 

To quote the IIHS report; "Five small cars, all 2014 models, earn an acceptable rating, two earn marginal and four earn poor ratings for occupant protection in a small overlap crash in the Institute's latest round of evaluations. The Institute now has evaluated 32 small cars for small overlap front crash protection. Of them, 19 earn a good or acceptable rating and 13 earn marginal or poor."

 

This latest round shows that auto companies are paying attention to building safe vehicles but also still has room to continue to improve. The biggest problem is when you have occupant compartment intrusion. This is where safety airbags and other devices are knocked out of position due to intrusion allowing greater damage than expected.

 

To quote the IIHS report; "Collapse of the occupant compartment is the downfall for four small cars in this group, including the Fiat 500L, Mazda 5, Nissan Juke and Nissan Leaf," Nolan explains. "A sturdy occupant compartment allows the restraint systems to do their job, absorbing energy and controlling occupant motion."

 

For full details of the report go to the link supplied above.

 

Quoting the IIHS Award Winners

 

Award winners

The Volt, which has a basic-rated optional forward collision warning system, is the only car in this test group to earn a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ award. The C-Max Hybrid, Countryman, Mitsubishi Lancer, and the Scion FR-S and its twin the Subaru BRZ qualify for Top Safety Pick, the Institute's second-highest award. These models miss the "plus" award because they don't have an available front crash prevention system.

To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, a good rating in the Institute's other four tests, and a basic, advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention. To qualify for Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection and a good rating in the other four tests.

"Consumers in the market for a small car now have six models to consider on our list of 2014 Top Safety Pick+ award winners, and an additional 13 that earn Top Safety Pick," Nolan says. "Consumers trading the inherent safety of a larger vehicle for the convenience or fuel economy of a small car should focus their search on these vehicles with state-of-the-art safety designs."

 

post-12-0-87781600-1407188118_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Volt is the class of the field here.

 

Like it or not, green cars are here to stay.  Prius sells 20K plus a month, leaf and Volt together are selling plus or minus 5K a month, vw builds and sells 7-8K TDI's a month, and another 4-5K a month are Porsche 918, Cruze Disel, C Max Hybrid, Fusion hybrid, Camry Hybrid, et al.

 

40-45K a month of Green cars is a pretty substantial number.  Not to mention the number of large diesel pickup trucks on the road, which are much more fuel efficient.  

 

The Mazda 5 is a terrible product, and Toyota engineers are once again caught with their pants down with the Scion lineup.

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This small offset test has thrown a lot of carmakers for a loop.  This is the type of crash I was in that totaled my 2011 Fiesta.

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While I'm glad that the testing standards are being updated... I think it is a bit unfair to the automakers to change the rules so quickly.

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Glad to see MINI do so well though.

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While it is good for Volt, how come Mini has G in more categories than Volt has TSP not TSP+? For the reason below? I think having a warning system with a weaker fail safe measure is worse than not having a system and having a stronger fail safe.

 

 

These models miss the "plus" award because they don't have an available front crash prevention system.

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