Luxury Cars Do Poorly In New Type Of Crash Test | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Luxury Cars Do Poorly In New Type Of Crash Test

The first set of cars put through a new type of safety test did poorly even though they were "luxury and near-luxury cars" that should have the latest safety technology built in, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports today.

After putting 11 such 2012 models through tests of what happens when they suffer "small overlap frontal crashes" in which a car's front corner hits something such as a tree, utility pole or other vehicle, the institute concluded that:

"The Acura TL and Volvo S60 earn good ratings, while the Infiniti G earns acceptable. The Acura TSX, BMW 3 series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC earn marginal ratings. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 250/350, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 earn poor."

The reason the institute designed the new test is that while modern vehicles generally perform well in tests of what happens in head-on crashes, small overlap frontal crashes continue to be a "major source" of fatalities:

"In a 2009 Institute study of vehicles with good ratings for frontal crash protection, small overlap crashes accounted for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants."

To protect car occupants, the institute says, the key "in any crash is a strong safety cage that resists deformation." But in most cases involving the cars that were tested, the "crush-zone structures" did not offer adequate protection from small overlap crashes.

The New York Times adds that luxury cars were chosen for the initial set of tests "because they tend to be the first models in any given year to offer advances in safety. The next round of testing will involve 15 moderately priced midsize cars."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Advice For Trevor Noah From The 'Jon Stewart Of South Africa'

The Daily Show isn't the only fake news show around. South Africa has Late Nite News, starring comedian Loyiso Gola. We asked him how he feels about Noah's new job — and what advice he has to offer.
NPR

The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

British colonialists brought lamb ham to America, where a sugar-cured, smoked variety became popular. Easier-to-cure pork ham eventually took its place, but now two Virginians are bringing it back.
WAMU 88.5

Legal Cloud Lifts For Controversial Alexandria Waterfront Plan

Thanks to a recent ruling of the Virginia Supreme Court in Richmond, developers now have a green light to start demolishing a series of old abandoned warehouses and building structures in Alexandria that are much larger than what's there now.
NPR

If Drones Make You Nervous, Think Of Them As Flying Donkeys

In Africa, where there aren't always roads from Point A to Point B, drones could take critical medicines to remote spots. But the airborne vehicles make people uneasy for lots of reasons.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.