The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested its next batch of vehicles against a taller, heavier, faster barrier like the trucks and SUVs out on the road today. But some of the most popular cars in the country didn't fare so well.
Midsize cars struggled against the insurance institute for highway safety's tougher side crash test.
The Institute put seven popular passenger cars to the test, which is now a 4,200-pound barrier striking the driver's side at 37 miles per hour.
"part of our redesign of the barrier was to emulate the pickup trucks and larger SUVs that are out there in the real world that are the striking vehicles in these crashes," said IIHS Pres. David Harkey.
In this test group, only the Subaru Outback earned a good rating. Three cars received poor ratings. The structure was particularly compromised on two of those models. And in all three there was a likelihood of injury.
"Either one or both of the female dummies' heads slipped below the side-curtain airbag and struck the windowsill," said Harkey.
The Institute says one reason for the group's disappointing performance is the lower ride height. Harkey is confident automakers will respond.
"All of these vehicles had good ratings in our *original side test. I have no doubt that they will get to a point that they will get them back to having a good rating in our *updated side test," he said.
The Institute plans to test smaller passenger cars and smaller pickup trucks to see how well they protect passengers.
Starting next year, a "good" rating will be needed to meet the institute's criteria for top safety pick.
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