According to the Associated Press and the Houston Chronicle, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently tested a group of new family sedans, including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion. The Toyota Camry performed poorly in the new crash test and failed to get the best safety rating from the auto safety group. Incidentally, the Toyota Camry is the best-selling and most popular car in the United States.
Eighteen different car models were subjected to a new type of front crash test in which a car, going at 40 miles an hour, strikes a crash barrier with just a small part of the front bumper on the driver’s side. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Toyota Camry a “Poor” rating on the test. In the Institute’s test, the Camry’s front wheel was pushed back, bending the passenger compartment footwell inward. The steering was also pushed far to the right so that the airbag, which is mounted in the steering wheel, did little to protect the crash test dummy’s head. Additionally, side curtain airbags also did not extend far enough forward to provide needed additional protection.
According to a statement by Institute president Adrian Lund, “Toyota engineers have a lot of work to do to match the performance of their competitors.”
The Toyota Camry still did well on the Institute’s other four tests and earned a “Top Safety Pick” designation. However, it failed to get a “Top Safety Pick-Plus” rating because of the poor performance on the new “small overlap” test of corner crashes.
Toyota said in a statement that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has “raised the bar” with the new test, exceeding United States government requirements. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit research group funded by auto insurance companies. It develops crash tests to cut deaths, injuries and property damage losses from auto crashes.