Five Popular Fleet Vehicles Score Poorly on New Crash Test

The Jeep Renegade is one of several vehicles in the fleet that received a poor rating in the new crash test. Head protection was found to be inadequate and put the head at risk of possible contact with external objects.

Photo: IIHS

Nine of 15 small SUVs received a poor rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after undergoing the IIHS’s new moderate overlap front evaluation. Additionally, several popular fleet vehicles that received a poor rating include the Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda C-X5.

Additional vehicles that received poor ratings include the Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

The updated overlap front rating aims to bridge the growing gap in protection provided for front and rear occupants, according to the IIHS. The original moderate overlap front test led to many improvements by automakers. Because of these higher standards and improvements, drivers of most vehicles are about 50% less likely to die in a frontal crash today than they were 25 years ago.

Now, the updated test is a challenge for manufacturers to bring the same benefits to the rear seats of cars.

Two vehicles – the Ford Escape and the Volvo XC40 – earned a good rating in the new test IIHS engineers say the “stellar performance” of these two SUVs proves that manufacturers can indeed find ways to create vehicles that protect rear passengers as well as front-seat passengers.

Four additional vehicles scored somewhere between poor and good. Specifically, the Toyota RAV4 earned an acceptable rating, and the Audi Q3, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester received marginal ratings.

Recent real-world crashes have shown that in many cases, rear-seat passengers are more seriously injured than front-seat passengers, according to the IIHS. That’s why it’s important to focus the new assessment on increasing protection for rear seat occupants. Overall, the new test results indicate that the majority of vehicles evaluated do not provide adequate protection for the rear passenger’s head and neck – the most vulnerable areas of the body.

In the not-so-distant past, rear-seat passengers were significantly less likely to die in front offset crashes than drivers or front-seat passengers because the biggest factor in survival was the front of the occupant compartment collapsing. . Now, though, there is barely any distortion of the occupying compartment in the medium overlap test.

Also, automakers add airbags and advanced seat belts to the front seats but often not to the back seats. As a result, in vehicles from model year 2007, the risk of fatal injury is 46% higher for belted passengers in the back seat than in the front seat.

To help automakers address that growing gap, the new test includes a second Hybrid III dummy that represents a small woman or 12-year-old child sitting in the second row behind the driver and uses new metrics that focus on the most common injuries. . Rear seat occupants.

IIHS also sees this test as an opportunity to rapidly deliver major safety benefits by adapting technologies we already know are effective.

For example, in the front seat, crash tensioners tighten the seat belt as soon as a crash occurs so that the passenger’s body begins to decelerate with the vehicle. Then, the tightening belt prevents the occupant from flying forward, so force limiters allow some of the webbing to spool up to reduce the risk of chest injuries. Rear seat occupants will also benefit from these technologies Features like rear seat airbags and seat belts that inflate on their own to mitigate the effects of crash forces can also help.

Tests have shown that

In nine poor-rated vehicles, impact measurements indicate a high risk of head, neck and chest injuries for the rear passenger, and the seat belt exerts additional force on the second-row dummy’s chest. On the CR-V and CX-5, the rear dummy shoulder belt position was also too high, which could have made the restraint system less effective.

Additionally, on the Eclipse Cross, Encore, and Tucson, the rear passenger dummy came close to contacting the front seatback, while on the Encore, Renegade, and Tucson, the rear passenger dummy’s head ended between the side curtain airbag and the seatback. The window follows the initial effect. On the Renegade, this allows the rear dummy head to make solid contact with the C-pillar that connects the car body to the roof behind the rear window.

Conversely, the well-rated Escape and XC40 showed minimal risk of injury for the second-row passenger. There was also no excess force on the dummy’s chest or distraction of the safety belt shoulder straps and no submerging under the lap belt or defect of the side curtain airbags. However, on the Escape, the rear dummy head came closer to the front seatback than preferred. The good rating for the Escape applies to vehicles built after May 2022, when Ford adjusted the rear seat belts.

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