2015 Ford F-150s Crash Ratings Vary By Model: Report

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2015 Ford F-150s Crash Ratings Vary By Model: Report

There are discrepancies between Ford F-150 models and their crash test results.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that the 2015 Ford F-150 swept the agency’s full slate of crashworthiness evaluations, resulting in a Top Safety Pick award with the F-150 extended cab model receiving a good performance in four of the five assessments, faltering in the small overlap front test with a marginal rating. What’s strange is that the Ford F-150 crew cab, which the American automaker brands as the SuperCrew, earned good ratings for occupant protection on all five tests, including the small overlap front.

The good news is that for the Ford F-150 being the first mass-market vehicle with an all-aluminum body it’s just as crashworthy as its steel-body predecessor. The bad news is not all the Ford F-150 models offer the same protection in a small overlap crash, but why?

SEE ALSO: 2015 Ford F-150 Review

According to IIHS, the extended cab model on the small overlap front crash test saw its intruding structure seriously compromising the driver’s survival space, resulting in a poor structural rating. In the crew cab model’s case, the F-150’s occupant compartment remained intact with the “front-end  structure crumpled in a way that spared the occupant compartment significant intrusion and preserved survival space for the driver.”

This is all because the American automaker added structural elements to the crew cab’s front frame to earn a good small overlap rating but didn’t do the same for the extended cab model. After notifying Ford, the automaker responded by saying that it’s evaluating possible changes to the extended cab for small offset performance.

Digging deeper, the Ford F-150 SuperCrew essentially comes with what Ford calls “protectors” in front of and behind each front wheel, which is being attributed to the better crash test results.

Ford spokesman Mike Levine spoke to Automotive News via email, saying that Ford will be adding “countermeasures to the SuperCab and Regular Cab for the 2016 model year. The type of countermeasure and structure will vary by cab type.” He naturally added: “The 2015 F-150 is the safest F-150 ever. It is the only full-size, light-duty truck to earn NHTSA’s highest five-star rating for the driver and passenger for all crash test modes and cab configurations. In addition, the 2015 F-150 SuperCrew is the first large pickup in the industry to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick in the current rating system.”

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  • craigcole

    Why, Ford, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? The bad publicity from NOT including wheel blockers in every single F-150 is faaaaaaar more expensive than just installing them.

  • Shiratori1

    It’s straight up cost cutting, and someone called them out on it.

  • Mike

    What a shame. Trying to save a few bucks and caught with their pants down. If they’re skimping there, where else are they skimping?