Small cars like the Chevrolet Spark performed poorly in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. None of the models tested earned a rating of “good,” the highest rating possible in the test.
Crash tests were carried out on several models of cars, and small cars did not fare well in the study. The study examined what happens during off-center frontal impacts.
These tests, conducted at 40 miles an hour, have been carried out since 2012. They are needed because an impact on one side of the car or the other are more likely to collapse passenger compartments. This can interfere with the operation of air bags and other safety equipment, increasing risk to passengers.
The Honda Fit performed poorly, and after crashes, “intruding structure seriously compromised the driver’s space, and the steering column was pushed back toward the driver,” the IIHS reported. A test dummy in the driver’s seat experienced having its head barely contact the airbag before striking the dashboard.
Another automobile with poor crash testing was the Fiat 500. Frontal impact tests found door hinges could tear off, possibly throwing people from the vehicle.
The Chevrolet Spark was the safest of all the models tested, being the only one to achieve the rating of “good.”
Minicar safety was largely compromised by the general structure of the models, the study reports.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a non-profit organization created by the automobile industry.