Overlap Test Confounds Vehicles Vying For Safety Recommendations

Posted on October 29, 2013

The ramifications of the new small overlap crash test continue to be felt, with Consumer Reports announcing that they will no longer be able to recommend three automobiles that have long been standouts.  The revelation is explored further in a new article from the Los Angeles Times.

The vehicles in question are all from Toyota:  the RAV4, the Prius V, and the Camry.  They are joined in their rejection by the Audi A4.  A representative of Consumer Reports pointed out that repeated tests failed to justify the inclusion of these vehicles on the agency’s list of recommended units, as their scores were simply not high enough to earn that distinction.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety introduced the test amid a wave of support and ongoing concerns about the impact an overlap crash could have on vehicle occupants.  Rather than focus on collisions that occur directly from the side, rear, or front, the overlap test is designed to determine how a vehicle would fare when it strikes something or is itself struck on its front corner.  In the past, many safety systems within vehicles have been shown not to respond well to such crashes.

A Kelley Blue Book analyst notes that this recent development could negatively impact sales, while Toyota has said they will look into ways to score better on future crash tests.

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