What happened:

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the 2013 Toyota Camry and Prius V  a “poor” crash test rating. “The Camry, which is the top-selling midsize car in the United States, and the Prius V, a four-door hybrid wagon, earn poor ratings for small overlap protection and are the worst performers of the midsize group,” said the IIHS in a statement.

The IIHS is now using a tougher frontal crash test which is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. The Prius V sustained major structural deformation in the new, tougher test.

Eleven cars, including the redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion and 2013 Nissan Altima were rated “acceptable” in the new test. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Jetta received “marginal” ratings. Only the 2013 Honda Accord and the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi received the top rating of “good” in the new test.


The Virginia Injury Lawyer Perspective:

The IIHS said it developed the new test because studies revealed that about a quarter of serious injuries and deaths in frontal crashes occur in these small overlap impacts. Toyota issued a statement responding to their vehicles low ratings, pointing out that the insurance group “periodically develops new, more severe or specialized tests which go beyond federal requirements.” But the company added, “The Institute has raised the bar again and we will respond to the challenge.”

Although the 2013 Toyota Camry received the top five-star overall crash-test rating from the federal government, we are pleased that the company is taking the low ratings of the IIHS testing seriously and will be actively seeking ways to achieve a greater crash performance.

IIHS, Arlington, VA

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Helpful Info:

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