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Insurance Industry Small Car Crash Tests (Video)

Snapshot 1 (8-8-2013 8-44 PM)By Al Sunshine, Chief Consumer Investigator, for EyesOnNews.com , Aug 9, 2013 – The latest insurance industry crash tests of new small cars found half of those tested only provided marginal or poor occupant protection in one of the most common types of accidents.

Only 1 out of 12 new models tested, Hondas’ Civic in both the 2 and 4 door version, got a good rating.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says as a group, the latest batch of small cars did worse than their slightly bigger counterparts, mid-sized models subjected to the same kinds of so-called “offset crashes” where a vehicle is hit at an angle in the front.

How’d the others do?

Getting Acceptable ratings: 

Dodge Dart

Ford Focus

Hyundai Elantra

Scion tC


Rated Marginally:

Chevy Sonic

VW Beetle

Chevy Cruz


Rated Poor: 

Nissan Sentra

Kia Soul

Kia Forte


What does it mean for new car shoppers?

The IIHS reports “As a group, small cars fared worse than their midsize moderately priced counterparts in the same test but better overall than small SUVs (see Status Report, May 30, 2013, and Dec. 20, 2012).

“The small cars with marginal or poor ratings had some of the same structural and restraint system issues as other models we’ve ested,” says David Zuby, the Institute’s chief research officer. “In the worst cases safety cages collapsed, driver airbags moved sideways with unstable steering columns and the dummy’s head hit the instrument panel. Side curtain airbags didn’t deploy or didn’t provide enough forward coverage to make a difference. All of this adds up to poor protection in a small overlap crash.”

Carmakers have long insisted their vehicles all meet current U-S Safety Standards.

Most that get “Good Ratings” promote the findings while those that get poor ratings tend to complain about them and criticize how they were conducted.

Insurance Rates are set using the data, so the IIHS ratings can not only help you chose a potentially safer vehicle, it can also help save you money on your car insurance bills.

Al Sunshine is a South Florida-based Broadcast and Digital Journalist whose career has spanned more than 40 years at the local and national levels. His award-winning investigations have triggered more than a dozen state and local consumer protection laws and his work’s been cited in Congressional Testimony before the U-S House of Representatives. He is best known for his “Shame On You” features for CBS Miami which sought to expose businesses, agencies and individuals defrauding or deceiving consumers, as well as endangering the safety and welfare of the general public. In 2013 Al retired from CBS Miami to set up his own Digital News Business, “Sunshine News, LLC” and Al continues to blog for the Radio, Television, Digital News Association, sponsors of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards”. An avid environmentalist, Al is one of the founding members of the “Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition”. The Florida Non-Profit is fighting to save and restore the last 2% of Pine Rocklands found only in South Florida and nowhere else in the continental United States. Al was recently elected its President.