Popular Ford and Jeep SUVs Given ‘Poor’ Rating in Recent Crash Test
Two popular midsize SUV brands in the U.S. have been issued a “poor” rating after a recent round of crash tests. The specific tests were performed to measure how well the vehicles could protect passengers in the front-seat during a head-on collision.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the two brands that put drivers and passengers at highest risk were the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2018 Ford Explorer. Both SUVs struggled in preventing injuries to front-seat passengers when the front right corner of the vehicles collided with another vehicle traveling at a speed of 40 miles per hour.
To determine this, the crash test simulated an accident when the front corner of a vehicle collides with a tree, telephone pole or the front corner of another vehicle.The unique aspect of the IIHS test that separates it from other crash tests is that it is meant to focus on driver safety, as well as the safety of other passengers in the car.
A “poor” rating is the lowest grade that the IIHS issues during crash tests. Other ratings include “marginal,” “acceptable,” and “good.” A “good” rating is the highest rating awarded. In this same round of crash tests, three of the 2018 midsize SUVs received an “acceptable” rating, including the Toyota Highlander, the Nissan Pathfinder, and the Honda Pilot. Out of the eight models tested, the Kia Sorento, Volkswagen Atlas and GMC Acadia received the coveted “good” rating.
According to the senior vice president of vehicle research with the IIHS, Dave Zuby, it is recommended that if someone is looking for a new SUV model, they choose one of the other options tested for the reasons these models failed. The models that received the good rating were said to be newer designs which already incorporated improvements the IIHS had previously recommended. Both the Explorer and Grand Cherokee were last redesigned in 2011 and have had minimal design changes since then.
The IIHS rated the Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee as also “poor” in protecting front-seat passengers from injuries to the lower leg and foot. In addition, the vehicle’s side airbag did not deploy during the crash, the SUV’s door also opened during the simulated accident.
The IIHS has admitted that it can be difficult to know how many fatal front-end collisions involve the situation where the passenger side front corner hits another vehicle or object. However, in 2016, 4,000 front-seat passengers died in auto accidents.
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