Minivans Do Poorly In New Crash Tests

DETROIT (AP) – The Honda Odyssey was the only minivan to earn the highest safety rating in new crash tests by the insurance industry.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said Thursday that the Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town and Country, and Dodge Caravan all garnered the lowest rating on the small overlap front crash test, which replicates what happens when a vehicle’s front corner collides with another object at 40 miles per hour.

In each of those cases, the minivans’ structure collapsed from the force of the crash. In the Quest, both of the dummy’s legs were trapped and the air bag was shoved up into its face, the institute said. In the Town and Country, the dummy’s head slid off the air bag and hit the instrument panel.

The Toyota Sienna earned the second highest rating of “acceptable.” The institute said its structure was weak but the dummy was protected by its side air bags.

Only the Odyssey won a “good” rating. Its structure was damaged, but the dummy was protected from serious injury, the group said.

The Arlington, Virginia-based institute introduced the small overlap test in 2012. This was the first time a group of minivans was tested, and the institute said it was surprised to see some of the worst outcomes possible for this type of severe crash.

Minivans are at a disadvantage because they are wider than the car platforms they’re built on. That leaves large areas that are less able to absorb the force of a crash. Minivans are also heavier than cars, so the damage they inflict can be more severe.

One other minivan sold in the U.S., the Kia Sedona, has not yet been tested. Kia is making a change to the vehicle that should improve its performance, the institute said. It will be tested in a few weeks.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

NEWS TEAM
Send A News Tip

Listen Live

AM/FM Stations

Featured Shows & Multimedia