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I just read the Consumer Reports crash test where they failed nearly all the mini-cars, and was disappointed to see they ignored Smart. I wonder why?
 

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smart fortwo and Scion iQ are considered Microcars by IIHS - neither vehicle has gone through the small overlap test.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/v/c...mary/microcars

Today's Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reporting of 2013/2014 model year subcompacts utilized their new small overlap test, which was introduced in 2012.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/deskto...tal-protection

Said testing impacts 25% of the drivers's side with a rigid barrier at 40 mph. Of note . . .

One effect of the new small-overlap test is that the vehicle tends to rotate around the point of impact as the crash proceeds. Since occupants then move to the side as well as forwards, the test poses new challenges to some safety-belt and air-bag systems. Even though this is a frontal crash, the side-impact air bags may need to deploy as well. Moreover, many cars are not designed to withstand a corner hit as well as they handle an impact that engages a wider portion of the front. There can be more intrusion into the driver’s foot-well, which can cause severe leg injuries.

Because all the various testing processes are different it is difficult build to the test or have standardized testing because of differing size, weight, structural integrity and of course crash speed.

That being said, here is a link that describes some of the various testing processes as outlined by Consumer Reports Magazine (September 2012) . . .

Crash test 101

Crash Test 101 - Understanding tests and ratings
 

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I wonder just how many cars actually crash with that small of an overlap?

What's next, required explosive safety hatch for water crashes? :D
 

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The problem is: Nobody at the IIHS likes small cars. They subscribe the ancient American "bigger is better" mentality. They will continue to create tests to make cars fail because they have to justify their jobs.:|

Big headlines like these are impressive, but they never bother to mention the fact that all manufactures have dramatically improved the safety of their vehicles over the last decade.

Do the same crash test on a Geo Metro, and see what the results are. Shoot an impact with a Moped will total a Metro....

You want to see a really shocking crash test? Look at mid 90's GM minivans. They folded like a paper bag on impact....

The auto industry has gotten the message that people want safer vehicles, and they have made dramatic improvements. The IIHS just looks for possible flaws, and designs tests to exploit them.

Next thing you know, the IIHS will want us all driving around in Abrams tanks!!! You can't make a vehicle crash-proof. At some point, personal responsibility comes into play. They want to make the roads safer? Start making drivers license tests as hard as getting a pilots license. Driving is a priviledge, not a right...:|
 

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I wonder just how many cars actually crash with that small of an overlap?

What's next, required explosive safety hatch for water crashes? :D
Don't give them any more ideas! :) With the road debris issue and Tesla, I can already see the test for running over multi-ball tow hitches, 4x4 posts, cinder blocks...
 

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I wonder just how many cars actually crash with that small of an overlap?

What's next, required explosive safety hatch for water crashes? :D
That's the "probability" half of risk assessment. The other half is "severity", in this case death. The IIHS, which is not a US government agency, is trying to influence car design through its unofficial but highly publicized testing. If these small cars will not survive the front offset test then their designs need improving IMHO. Saving gas is not worth dying over. :)
 

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That's the "probability" half of risk assessment. The other half is "severity", in this case death. The IIHS, which is not a US government agency, is trying to influence car design through its unofficial but highly publicized testing. If these small cars will not survive the front offset test then their designs need improving IMHO. Saving gas is not worth dying over. :)
Agreed! It can expose a possible safety flaw in otherwise solid designs. :)

I guess my real question then is where should the line be drawn with crash testing when it comes to realistic expectations?

I mean, I am as much as a safety advocate as everyone else, but I wonder, at point will we have to say "this physically cannot be expected"? :)

The NHTSA was the first institution to perform Small Overlap testing, but AFAIK, theirs was at a bit of a higher speed than the IIHS'.

Small Overlap Crash Tests - YouTube
 

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FWIW, the smart was recognized by ADAC, the German motoring club, earlier this year for doing very well in a 50% front offset test.

The usual EuroNCAP crash test is a simulated frontal collision with a vehicle of the same weight. ADAC had four smaller car makes crash into a 50 percent offset barrier, weighted to be the equivalent of a lower-end mid-sized car.

Again, the Smart was the only microcar that held up. ADAC's conclusions were that the traditional crumple zone designs of the Smart's competitors don't afford enough space to be effective. The Smart keeps its occupants safe using a different strategy—extreme structural rigidity combined with energy dissipating body panels and eight airbags that protect from every angle.
:)

Read more: Safer than expected Smart Fortwo performs like bigger cars in crash tests - NY Daily News
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is hard to be upset over car safety. I remember the days before seat belts and collapsible steering columns. Kids roamed around in the car and in crashes whole families died. Now people have a fair chance in a crash and it keeps getting better.
 

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I haven't looked at anything "Consumer Reports" in years. They have absolutely no credibility in my book. Both Suzuki and Isuzu proved in court that they rig testing to get the outcome they or their sponsors desire. That's not testing that's advertising!
 
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