An Expensive Bump For SUVs

Small sport utility vehicles may be fun and macho, but a little bump may mean a shocking repair bill, reports CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash-tested seven small SUV's at just five miles an hour and found some bumpers barely functional.

"There's no reason for vehicles to be this flimsy and to sustain this much damage in crashes where there really should be no damage at all," said Brian O'Neill, of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Kia Sportage rated worst of all. Backing into a rear barrier -- something like a garage door -- it tallied a whopping $2,600 in damage.

Rear-mounted tires may add a flair of style, but they also appear to represent a flaw in design. When hit, the tire is forced through the back of the SUV.

"Style is overriding engineering considerations, said O'Neill.

The absence of a rear-mounted tire is probably why the Subaru Forester scored best overall.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen's new beetle beat those big bad SUV's hands down.

Reported by Sharyl Attkisson
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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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