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Old 23rd January 2014, 16:13   #1
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Default IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

As per safety tests on 11 sub-light or sub-compact 'mini' cars conducted by the US safety authority - The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), all but Chevy Spark/ Beat (which passed it, but just managed to do so), have failed the small overlap front test.

The 11 small cars tested by the IIHS in the USA, their 'overall' crash test performances are as follows:

Chevrolet Spark: acceptable
Mazda2: marginal
Kia Rio: marginal
Toyota Yaris: marginal
Ford Fiesta: marginal
Hyundai Accent: marginal
Mitsubishi Mirage: poor
Toyota Prius C: poor
Nissan Versa (Almera): poor
Fiat 500: poor
Honda Fit (Jazz): poor

For information of all:

Quote:
The IIHS overlap crash test is designed to replicate what occurs when a car's front corner impacts with a telegraph pole or another vehicle. It is conducted at a speed of around 60kmph (40mph).

Quote:
The IIHS's senior vice-president for vehicle research, Joe Nolan, explained that recent testing of sub-light cars in a small overlap crash simulation revealed significant weaknesses in the cars' structural integrity.

"The institute is revealing the first small overlap front crash results for a group of 11 minicars. We implemented the more challenging small overlap test in 2012, and minicars are the worst performing group of any group tested," he said.

"A small overlap crash can be devastating because often the main structural elements of the vehicle are bypassed. If a vehicle's not designed for this it can lead to massive collapse of the occupant compartment and a big reduction in survival space," says Nolan.

"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection," he added.
More details here:

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/most-...al-crash-tests

This could effectively mean death knell for small cars in US, but, could also have implications across globe, in terms of revision of safety ratings & standards.

But, I am sure it won't have any impact in India .
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Old 23rd January 2014, 16:53   #2
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Default re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

This is not surprising at all.
The first time this test was conducted on mid size sedans, most of them did not do so well either, specially the Camry.
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Old 23rd January 2014, 18:36   #3
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Default re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Hi, the survey is correct. You would recall a similar thing on Maruti Alto K-10. It has already been crowned with Zero star safety rating in the Latin NCAP for protection because of its unstable vehicle structure.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...atin-ncap.html (Maruti Alto K10: ZERO Star Safety Rating in the Latin NCAP)

Last edited by mints21 : 23rd January 2014 at 18:37.
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Old 23rd January 2014, 22:09   #4
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Default re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
This is not surprising at all.
The first time this test was conducted on mid size sedans, most of them did not do so well either, specially the Camry.
I have to agree. Safety in car crashes has been achieved by incremental improvements year on year. IIHS and other authorities keeps adding new tests once they deem minimum standards have been met on the existing ones. (I believe the ratings scale every year as well). And the small overlap test is new.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/c...ary/small-suvs
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/c...y/midsize-suvs
http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/c...ar-luxury-cars

Even MY 2014 small/mid-sized SUVs and luxury cars haven't done well in this test (or haven't had had this test performed yet). And these are vehicles which meet or exceed expectations in all the other safety tests. Around MY 2016, you should start seeing vehicles where design engineers will start taking the small overlap crash failure mode into consideration.
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Old 24th January 2014, 07:50   #5
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Default re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Quote:
Originally Posted by CARDEEP View Post
This could effectively mean death knell for small cars in US, but, could also have implications across globe, in terms of revision of safety ratings & standards.

But, I am sure it won't have any impact in India .
This just means car manufacturers would need to add additional reinforcements in the structure to do well in this test.

How about models in India? They just figured out an additional area where they can save costs when compared to the international version.
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Old 24th January 2014, 12:37   #6
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Default re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
This is not surprising at all.
The first time this test was conducted on mid size sedans, most of them did not do so well either, specially the Camry.
In small cars (Civic, Corolla, category) the situation is bit better as 5 out of 12 passed the test. Yes, few midsize sedans like the Camry too have failed the test, but the ratio changes favourably as the size gets bigger, & this is the catch in the article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenren View Post
This just means car manufacturers would need to add additional reinforcements in the structure to do well in this test.

How about models in India? They just figured out an additional area where they can save costs when compared to the international version.
In India, I am not sure how many cars would fail the test, as manufacturers use cheaper metal/ alloys & remove reinforcements to reduce cost & increase margins.

Last edited by GTO : 25th January 2014 at 17:25. Reason: Please do NOT unnecessarily drag Fiat into each & every thread
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Old 24th January 2014, 15:43   #7
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Default re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

This test was introduced recently and there was a thread not long ago talking about the big trio from Germany also faring poor in this test. As they have told in the iihs website, this might be a common scenario in accidents and that's the reason they have introduced this. Actually, I'm happy to see more tests which are closer to reality, which will help improve the structural integrity of cars which will fare better in real life. Also, point to be noted are the results - Fiat 500, Toyota Prius C and Honda Fit faring poor in this test. The pictures show how the passenger compartment is compromised, which looks scary. Fiat, Toyota and Honda does not live up to expectations which their band names convey. Volvo on the other hand, still seems to hold on to their safest car tag. By the way, the Hyundai Accent also fared poor in the test, not marginal. (http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/c...mmary/minicars)
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Old 24th January 2014, 16:24   #8
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Default Re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Suzuki Alto K10 = 0 stars

New Suzuki Celerio they are launching = 4 stars
Attached Files
File Type: pdf suzuki-celerio-2-airbags-en.pdf (871.1 KB, 162 views)

Last edited by HyperRetard : 24th January 2014 at 16:29.
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Old 24th January 2014, 18:10   #9
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Default Re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

@HyperRetard

Thanks, but that's the A-Star we had in India. Look at the rear shape, door handles. Moreover, I am not sure whether it would clear the overlap test of the IIHS, which is proving to be difficult for most.
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Old 24th January 2014, 20:01   #10
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Default Re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Quote:
Originally Posted by CARDEEP View Post
In India, I am not sure how many cars would fail the test, as manufacturers use cheaper metal/ alloys & remove reinforcements to reduce cost & increase margins.
The reason these cars seem to be better built is because these crash tests ratings and results are enforced! I read an article in some magazine that many European imports to US were initially denied entry because they did not meet the safety norms (Landrover and Superleggera among them). They were allowed to be sold in US only after the manufacturers made changes to the cars so that they met the norms.

Car manufacturers will not proactively make their cars safer (with the exception of Tesla) because it will make their cars more expensive than the competition.
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Old 24th January 2014, 20:10   #11
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Default Re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

Quote:
Originally Posted by HyperRetard View Post
Suzuki Alto K10 = 0 stars

New Suzuki Celerio they are launching = 4 stars
  1. The model tested is the current Celerio aka the A-Star.
  2. The test is Latin NCAP and not the one conducted by IIHS (USA)
  3. The frontal small offset crash test was recently introduced by IIHS and many of the cars failed to clear it as this scenario was never used for testing. The ones that passed the test, shows the better thinking of those manufacturers about safety (and more real life scenarios).
  4. I do not think the A-star would have fared any better in this particular test, as many cars having good rating (5*) in all the other tests failed to attain even a marginal score in this test.
And I strongly feel that cars like Toyota Etios, which fared good in Latin NCAP tests are not the ones which are sold in India and the reason is suggested by amitoj. Car manufacturers would like to maximize profit and until and unless a regulation is in place, they will never care. Just look at the kerb weight of Etios Liva in Brazil and in India. The Brazilian version is substantially heavier and I believe that its due to the beefed up structure to get a higher NCAP rating.

Last edited by A350XWB : 24th January 2014 at 20:36.
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Old 25th January 2014, 11:23   #12
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Default Re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

US authorities are serious about safety of the occupants & in this direction, the NHTSA has proposed a new rule that would set testing standards for child seats, to determine how well the seats protect children in ‘T-bone’ crashes.

Quote:
“We all want to make sure our children’s car seats are as safe as possible, and today’s proposal will give parents and car seat makers important new data on how car seats perform in side crashes,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.
Details of the proposed tests:
Quote:
Under the NHTSA proposal, the tests would replicate side-impact collisions & require car seats to protect children weighing up to 40 pounds from being seriously injured by such accidents. The new tests are designed to determine whether car seats on the market protect young children from head trauma & other injuries in a side-impact collision.
The NHTSA proposal describes a new test in which a car moving at 30 mph collides with a vehicle traveling at 15 mph. Two crash-test dummies would be used in the tests: one that replicates a 1-year-old infant & another that represents a 3-year-old child.
Link to MSN article:

http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs...act-crash-test
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Old 25th January 2014, 16:22   #13
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Default Re: IIHS: Majority of USA small cars unsafe

As I've written earlier, this test was added recently. New tests, which are closer to reality will be added as time progresses and when data is available. The organizations/countries which care about safety, proactively improve tests and mandate additions like these. In the present world, if a standard is set, most people will try to just pass the hurdle and do not try to over engineer which is a costly affair in most cases. The key is build to the need and not more. So, as and when new tests are added and mandated, the manufacturers will have to adhere to the new norms, making the cars safer to the users.
And for the NCAPs of EU and USA, people have different approaches & philosophies. Let's have a look at the tests conducted by both agencies.
EU
  1. Frontal Impact (Medium Overlap)
  2. Side Impact
  3. Pole Test
  4. Pedestrian Protection
  5. Points for Safety Equipment & Safety Assist
  6. Advanced Rewards (New - For systems like Autonomous Emergency Braking from Skoda)
USA
  1. Moderate overlap frontal test
  2. Small overlap frontal test (New)
  3. Side crash test
  4. Roof strength test
  5. Front crash prevention tests (added in 2013 to test the capability of auto braking) (Crash avoidance & mitigation)
  6. Head Restraints & Seats
EUNCAP also tests the seats and restraints in all the crash test scenarios and IIHS awards points for additional safety systems. (This list might not be complete, but is just to have an idea).

As we can see, the tests are formulated to replicate real life scenarios which are relevant to the region where the car is sold and are the output of analyzing the data collected over the years. For example, the collision of the car with a pole might be more relevant in EU, which has a lot of narrow roads with poles by the side and so they consider it when testing the cars. Likewise, the reports in US shows that there are a lot of rollover crashes there and they added a roof strength test because it is more relevant for them. (As a joke, in India, we might need a test so see the how the car behaves when it goes under a truck (under run test) as that is a common scenario here). So, each country have developed specific set of tests which they think are relevant for their region.
There is more to it. In EU or US, they can have a frontal collision test and safely assume that the same (or nearly the same) behaviour will be the output when the car collides with a truck. Why? Because they have a complimenting rule set for trucks also, that says the clearance of the truck from the ground should not be more than a specific margin to avoid under-run. And it is strictly enforced also. So, you can think for yourself, what will happen in a place like ours. Even a 5* rated car might not fare well in an under-run crash. It takes a full set of rules and enforcement of the same, to really make the roads safer.
Sorry for the big post, but didn't feel like stopping once I started off

Last edited by GTO : 25th January 2014 at 17:27. Reason: Quoted post deleted, hence....
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