When you think of a luxury vehicle, chances are that you expect the best of everything a car has to offer. This may include best in class acceleration and engine durability, the best in handling and smoothness, as well as the latest in technological advancements.
Luxury vehicles are also known for the latest in safety advancements; with many boasting crash avoidance technologies such as lane integrity warning and proximity warning systems. However, the latest crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that a number of luxury vehicles may not be as safe as advertised.
According to a recent report, three large luxury vehicles were put through a battery of crash tests, and they garnered a mixed bag of results. For instance, the Lincoln MKS received a poor rating in the overlap crash, and the BMW 5 Series only received a marginal rating. Both vehicles were criticized for allowing the front end to compromise the driver’s space in front end collisions. Specifically, head of the crash test dummy barely touched the driver’s airbag in the MKS, and the dummy slid from the airbag and crashed into the instrument panel. The simulation also suggested that a driver would suffer severe left leg and hip injuries in such a crash.
As for the 5 Series, it performed slightly better, as the dummy’s movement was well controlled and the front and side airbags provided adequate protection to the head area. Left leg injuries would likely occur in such an accident.
Crash test ratings are important because they give manufacturers information about what design changes can be made to prevent injuries.