POSTED: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 9:51am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 9:58am
Small cars are big seller these days, but one safety group says the way automakers have built those vehicles leaves drivers vulnerable to serious injuries when it comes to certain kinds of crashes. Rene Marsh brings us the results of new crash tests focusing on compact cars.
It's this type of crash that happens on U.S roads thousands of times per year.
Not quite head-on, but what the insurance institute for highway safety calls "overlap frontal crashes" where part of the car's front end strikes an object.
The group says some popular small cars on the road don't make the grade in overlap crashes. Twelve small cars put to the test, the Honda Civic received the top grade.
The head and chest of the test dummy was protected, the airbags released on time and structure of car did not cave in on the driver side.
The Kia Forte performed the worst, David Zuby, IIHS Chief Research Officer, "The structure collapsed; we've got the restraints not doing a good job controlling motion of the occupant."
The group says manufactures have built cars to best absorb impact in the center. Take a look, a more head-on impact on the left an over lap crash on the right, the damage much worse in the overlap crash.
David Zuby, "So as manufacturers design their cars, they need to look at how their cars perform in this crash configuration and try to figure out ways to provide better protection for the people inside."
Along with the Honda Civic, the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Scion TC passed the test.
The Chevrolet Sonic, Volkswagen Beetle, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, Kia Soul and Forte all performed poorly.
General Motors, Volkswagen, Nissan and Kia told CNN they are reviewing the results of the tests for their low scoring vehicles.