IIHS Investigating Inconsistent Safety Equipment Thanks to 2015 F-150

IIHS Investigating Inconsistent Safety Equipment Thanks to 2015 F-150

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is crash testing the 2015 Ford F-150 again, a practice that may spread to other cars and trucks. 

This unprecedented second crash test on a 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCab 4×2 took place because Ford doesn’t install the same safety equipment on all the truck’s cab styles. Automotive News tipped the IIHS off to the fact that the F-150 SuperCrew model, which accounts for 70 percent of F-150 sales, has added steel bars welded to the truck’s frame to keep the front wheels from being pushed into the passenger area. Neither of the other two body styles, the SuperCab and Regular Cab have these bars.

The institute’s regular practice would be to test only the SuperCrew model, but now the IIHS is going back to test all of the different body styles to present accurate safety information on the full model lineup. The safety report on the new F-150 has been delayed until at least July.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Ford F-150 Safety Ratings: Five Stars for Every Body Style

“We optimize each cab structure based on many factors including cab style, mass, wheelbase, powertrain and driveline to meet regulatory requirements and achieve public domain ratings,” a Ford safety spokeswoman told Automotive News. 

This case has prompted the IIHS to begin investigating how many other automakers might be installing improved safety equipment on some models and not on others. An IIHS spokesman says that additional testing on other automaker’s low-volume pickups will begin next year.

In NHTSA crash testing, each body style of the F-150 scored the best rating possible. NHTSA testing does not include a small front-overlap crash test, a procedure specific to the IIHS. Many automakers have scrambled in recent years to make sure their vehicles would make it through the small overlap test with an “acceptable” or “good” rating, one of which is needed to capture the prized Top Safety Pick moniker.

For instance, Honda implemented a quick production fix at the factory on the 2015 Fit after the car scored a “marginal” in the small overlap test. About 12,000 cars had to be recalled to have the fix implemented, but the car moved up to an “acceptable” rating in small overlap testing, allowing it to be named a Top Safety Pick.

[Source: Automotive News]

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