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Few popular small SUVs pass new crash prevention test aimed at reducing crash severity

Dramatic new crash tests on popular small SUVs show that driver assistance systems aimed at avoiding or reducing the severity of a crash struggle at higher speeds.

New vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash prevention test results released Thursday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that most models did not perform well.

“We really wanted to push manufacturers further and so we increased our testing speeds,” said institute president David Aylor.

The IIHS has previously tested similar driver assistance systems for low-speed crashes between 12 and 25 miles per hour. By 2022, every system tested has achieved high marks.

The new tests ranged from 31 to 43 miles per hour and also assessed how well small SUVs detect and warn drivers approaching a stopped motorcycle or large truck. He found opportunities for improvement

“Unfortunately, not many vehicles performed well,” Aylor said.

According to the IIHS, several tests are being conducted under the new system at speeds of 31 mph, 37 mph and 43 mph.

Only the Subaru Forester earned top marks in the updated test, avoiding collisions at all speeds and alerting the driver to obstacles more than two seconds before a likely collision.

“That’s why we publish these ratings to really encourage manufacturers to improve their performance across the board,” Aylor said.

Two other small SUVs, the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, were deemed acceptable.

Three vehicles, the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass, performed marginally.

The Volkswagen Taos, Mitsubishi Outlander, Chevrolet Equinox and Mazda CX-5 received mediocre ratings.

“Clearly, crashes that happen at higher speeds are more dangerous,” said David Kidd, a senior research scientist at IIHS. “Fatal underride accidents often occur when the vehicle struck is a large truck, and motorcyclists are frequently killed when struck from behind by a passenger car because their motorcycle provides no protection from the impact .”

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents automakers, said in a statement: “Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is a revolutionary safety technology developed by automakers to help detect impending collisions of vehicles, warn drivers and automatically apply the brakes. This life-saving technology uses radar, cameras and lasers to help prevent accidents and protect pedestrians in various conditions.

“Life-saving AEB technology is on America’s roadsToday due to the industry’s voluntary commitment to install the system in all new vehicles by 2025. It is estimated that AEB could prevent 42,000 accidents and 20,000 injuries per year.

General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors and Volkswagen released the following statements to CBS News regarding the test results:

General engines

“We are confident in the safety of the Chevrolet Equinox, which earned a 5-star overall safety rating in NHTSA’s comprehensive new car evaluation program. We appreciate the IIHS’s introduction of new frontal crash prevention testing protocols and will seek to incorporate the results into our designs. “.


“Mazda is always looking to improve its suite of advanced driver assistance features, including automatic emergency braking systems that the IIHS has tested at higher speeds and with varying obstacles. We are currently evaluating the new IIHS frontal crash avoidance criteria and believe we can achieve higher ratings in the near future.

Mitsubishi engines

“Mitsubishi Motors vehicles meet or exceed all required safety standards in the United States and have been recognized by the IIHS for excelling in the IIHS’s own testing protocols. The requirements for this particular test exceed all standards of “While we’re disappointed to see the Outlander score in the test, we remain confident in the Outlander’s actual safety technology given the vehicle’s 2024 IIHS Top Safety Pick rating.”


“The safety of our customers is a top priority for Volkswagen. Our driver assistance systems are designed to assist drivers, but are not a substitute for attentive driving. Just as the IIHS continues to strengthen the requirements of its driver assistance programs, In testing, Volkswagen continues to work on improving our driver assistance systems as new models are developed to better protect our customers.

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