The Toyota Camry is the most popular car in America, but unfortunately a new crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that the Camry may not be a very safe car. CNN.com reported on the problems that the Camry faced in a recent article on December 20, 2012.
Our Asheville injury attorneys urge everyone in the market for a new car to consider the results of the crash test when making their purchasing choice. While avoiding auto accidents is always the best way to stay safe, having a car that protects you in case of a crash is essential to avoiding serious injury.
The Toyota Camry and the New Crash Tests
According to CNN, IIHS recently tested 18 different models of vehicle in a new type of front impact crash test. The cars included the Camry, the Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord. Each vehicle was crashed into a barrier going 40 miles per hour. However, unlike many other front crash tests, only a small portion of the front bumper on the driver's side hit the crash barrier. This meant that the force of the impact was concentrated in a small area.
This is a new type of test that the Camry hasn't yet been subject to. A group of luxury cars were also tested in the same way by IIHS back in August and only eleven of those cars got top marks on the test. The Camry was tested along with other mid-priced cars and performed worse than others in the group. Another of the vehicles that tested very poorly was also a Toyota: the popular and environmentally friendly Toyota Prius. Cars that did the best included the Accord sedan by Honda and the Kizashi, by Suzuki. The Accord is a close competitor of the Camry and often ranks second in sales.
The Problem with the Camry
The Camry performed poorly because the front wheel of the vehicle was pushed back by the impact of the accident. As a result, the passenger compartment footwell was pushed inward.
Even worse, the impact forced the steering wheel very far towards the right. Since the air bag is mounted in the steering wheel, the airbag was also pushed sharply rightwards so it provided little protection for the head of the crash test tummy. Since the side airbags didn't extend far enough forward to make up the difference, the driver was essentially left underprotected in the crash.
The results prompted IIHS's president to indicate that Toyota engineers had a lot of work to do in order to make their car as safe as the similarly-priced models offered by their competitors in the moderate-priced market.
Monitoring Crash Test Results
These new crash test results are important because they show a weakness in the safety features of the Toyota Camry. It is important for drivers to consider all crash test results and safety ratings when making their purchasing decision so they do not put themselves and their families at unnecessary risk in the event of a crash.