After a press release and a strongly-worded blog response by Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s senior vice president of communications, it seemed as thought the battle between the automaker and with Swedish publication Teknikens Varld was all but over — until the magazine published new claims that prompted the brand to issue another response.
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This isn’t supposed to be a problem anymore, but a Swedish publication found during its “moose test” that even at moderate speeds the Jeep Grand Cherokee is at serious risk for a potentially fatal rollover.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is besting the competition for safety ratings, for now. The little sub-compact Sonic scored a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to beat out the Ford Fiesta, which only scored four out of five.
Safety isn’t the only thing we’re pleased to say makes the Sonic great, it’s a peppy starter car that comes available with a six-speed manual and a turbocharged four-cylinder that had us scooting past the speed limit with surprising ease. It also comes with 10 standard airbags.
The Sonic still has to go up against its other competition: this year’s Kia Rio and Honda Fit, which both have yet to be rated. The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan also still has to be rated, but the verdict isn’t looking good for its hatchback brother with three of five in the frontal crash category and four of five in rollovers.
Poor ratings aside, the Sonic hasn’t won the race yet. It got four out of five stars in the rollover category, so there is still a chance the unrated cars can equal or best it.
Of course, that rating is coming hot off the heels of a recall over missing brake pads in the Sonic. We’re willing to assume the rating is based on completely assembled cars.
The Sonic is also a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Read Autoguide’s Chevy Sonic review here.
While there are merits to the safety benefits from riding in a taller, heavier vehicle, there are disadvantages as well. According to safety evaluations from NHTSA, the 2012 Chevrolet Suburban suffered a rollover during a side-impact crash test.
Simulating a passenger car striking the driver’s side at 38 miles an hour, the inertia caused the Suburban to land on its side. Along with the Ford Escape and the Nissan Rogue, the Suburban is the third current-model SUV to tip over during the side-impact test. In typical cases, vehicles should only skid on all four wheels.
From plugging in parameters into a mathematical formula, the NHTSA projects that the Chevrolet Suburban has a 24 percent risk of rolling over in a single accident. Neither GM or NHTSA has responded to requests for comment on the crash tests. Moreover, other than the rollover concern, the Suburban earns top scores in both frontal and side impact crash safety for occupants. However, the overall rating was only dropped to four out of five stars because of the mentioned rollover calculations.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevrolet Suburban Side-Impact Crash Test
[Source: The Examiner]
The Camaro and Mustang GT come with more-or-less comparable horsepower and grunt off the line. What the test drive won’t show you is that the Camaro is the first car to earn a perfect rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
NHTSA uses front, side and rollover tests to determine a vehicle’s safety during a crash and have strengthened their standards since 2011. The Camaro earned a perfect score in all categories, where the Mustang only earned four of five stars in the front and side crash tests.
The front-end tests are conducted at 35 mph and the side crash at 38.5 mph, as well as a slower 20 mph side-impact test against a narrow pole. Finally the NHTSA uses a mathematical calculation to determine how likely a rollover is.
To be fair, most muscle car fanatics would call this story incomplete. The Dodge Challenger among many other cars have yet to be tested for 2012.
Sometimes, okay just doesn’t cut it. Like when it comes to how well the roof of your midsize SUV holds up in a rollover. New results from the first roof strength tests on midsize SUVs conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that automakers still need to make improvements to these types of vehicles.
Out of 12 midsize SUVs tested, six earned the top rating of good for rollover protection, one came in at acceptable, and the last five earned the second lowest rating of marginal. Making the good grade are the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox (twin GMC Terrain) built after March 2010, Jeep Liberty (twin Dodge Nitro), Toyota Highlander and Venza, as well as the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Sorento. Coming in at an acceptable rating was the 2010 Ford Edge. The midsized SUVs that didn’t fair so well by earning marginal ratings were the Honda Accord Crosstour, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-7, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Nissan Murano, all 2010 models.
“Midsize SUVs are a big group so we’re testing them in stages,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “First results show that automakers are making progress in rollover protection, but it’s disappointing that a new design like the Crosstour didn’t perform better.”
Institute research shows occupants in vehicles that roll benefit from stronger roofs, and the IIHS has, in turn, based their rollover rating system on this information. In order for a vehicle to be rated as good, their roof must be more than twice as strong as the minimum required under the current federal safety standard. A rollover is one of the most serious crashes to be involved in, and this test is designed to help drivers pick a vehicle that will best protect them.
Stats show that nearly 10,000 people a year are killed in rollover crashes. These types of crashes are so deadly because as vehicles roll, their roofs hit the ground, deform, and crush. Since stronger roofs crush less, they minimize injury risk from contact with the roof itself.
[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]
Lexus has resumed selling its awesome drift-wagon full-sized GX460 SUV, with a new software update for the stability control system. The “stop-sale” order was given after Consumers Reports magazine deemed the GX460 unsafe and put it on the magazines “Do Not Buy” list, after the GX460 oversteered during Consumer Reports’ “Throttle Lift Test.”
Astute readers will know that if you throw any car into a corner at a brisk pace and lift off the gas, you will get some heroic oversteer. An SUV with a big V8 and a high center of gravity is no exception to this rule. It’s impossible to know the full story behind the scandal, but GX460 owners should breathe easier now than an official fix has been released.
Official release after the jump:
The elk test is one of the most infamous procedures used to evaluate new cars. A double lane change at 50 mph, the elk test was designed to help Scandinavian auto journalists evaluate the highway speed stability of a car, when the threat of a large animal in the road is a very real safety hazard.
The most infamous incident involving the elk test saw the Mercedes-Benz A-Class roll over during the maneuver. While it was an embarrassment for Mercedes-Benz, it had the benefit of introducing electronic stability control systems to passenger cars. 13 years later, a trio of similarly tall wagons from Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat underwent the same test in Britain, with similar results.
While the three cars are all based off the same platform, only the Fiat had stability control. While it passed the elk test, the Citroen variant suffered a roll-over, prompting Which magazine (the publication conducting the test) to suspend testing of the Peugeot, due to its lack of stability control.
Both Citroen and Peugeot say that they will be working on a stability control system for their cars. While many enthusiasts complain that these systems ruin the driving experience in high performance situations, most stability control programs can be turned off, and the elk test demonstrates how useful they are, especially in vehicles like the aforementioned vans, where the risk of a rollover in an emergency is far more likely than anyone ever driving them rapidly.
[Source: Which Magazine]
Toyota has announced that it will temporarily halt sales of the Lexus GX460 SUV, just hours after Consumer Reports placed the car on its “Do Not Buy” list due to safety concerns. In the latest blow to Toyota’s reputation, the Consumer Reports test showed that during emergency maneuver testing they found the GX to be at risk of a rollover. The truck’s traction control system will allow it to slide almost completely sideways before regaining control of the vehicle.
Earlier today Toyota issued a statement saying it was “concerned” with CR’s results and said it would attempt to replicate the problem. Toyota was also quick to point out that the GX460 “meets or exceeds all federal government testing requirements.”
So far, Toyota has sold roughly 5,000 2010 GX460 models since the new model went on sale. It is not yet clear if Toyota intends to issue a recall for those models.
Back in January Toyota temporarily halted the sale of eight models, including the Camry, Corolla and RAV4 while it searched to find a fix for a sticking accelerator pedal issue.
See after the jump for the Consumer Reports test video of the 2010 Lexus GX460
[Source: The Associated Press]
When it rains it pours, and that’s certainly what’s been going on for Toyota Motor Corp when it comes to bad PR. In the midst of the automaker’s current recall crisis, it is now being faced with an issue that’s sure to put the brakes (pun intended) on sales of one of its models. According to a report by Automotive News, Consumer Reports has now listed the new 2010 Lexus GX460 on its infamous “Do Not Buy” list. The reason, says CR is that during its testing they found the GX to be at risk of a rollover. Apparently the truck’s traction control system will allow it to slide almost completely sideways before regaining control of the vehicle.
In a statement, Toyota has said that it is “concerned” with CR‘s results. “Our engineers conduct similar tests and we feel these procedures provide a good indication of how our vehicles will perform in the real-world; however, we will try to duplicate the Consumer Reports’ test to determine if appropriate steps need to be taken.”
Toyota is also quick to point out that the GX460 “meets or exceeds all federal government testing requirements.”
Interestingly, CR found no such issues with the mechanically similar Toyota 4Runner.
See the Consumer Reports video highlighting the issue after the jump:
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]