April 8, 2014
Concerns over the safety of popular car models are being raised, after The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released new crash test results for several mid-sized SUV.
Of nine models tested only two, the Chevrolet Equinox and the GMC Terrain, received the highest rating. The Toyota Highlander was rated acceptable.
All three of those SUVs performed well in front, side, rear and roll over crashes and they come equipped with technology to help prevent or minimize frontal collisions.
The institute declared the Honda Pilot the worst performer. The Mazda CX-9 and the Kia Sorrento also rated poorly. The Ford Explorer, Toyota 4-Runner and Jeep Cherokee got marginal ratings.
The test showed what could happen if just a small portion of the vehicle crashes into another vehicle or object, like a utility pole or tree.
"This kind of crash, a small overlap where just the corner of the front of your vehicle is involved, accounted for about 25 percent of the remaining serious injuries in front crashes," said IIHS President Adrian Lund
Results of the crash tests are important to consumers. Researchers say the results show manufacturers what improvements they need to make.
"They need to beef up the occupant compartment, to make sure it doesn't collapse when all this force comes back to it," Lund said.
Despite the ratings, the Institute for Highway Safety says SUVs have gotten much safer over the past twenty years.