Due to safety concerns arisen from a new type of crash test conducted by the IIHS, Consumer Reports no longer recommends Toyota Camry and three other models.
A relatively new crash test, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, shows that some vehicles are much better than others at protecting their occupants in certain types of frontal collisions. And as a result of poor results in this small-overlap frontal crash test, the popular magazine has decided to drop their recommendations or four popular models: the Audi A4 and Toyota Camry, Prius V, and RAV4.
Introduced in 2012, the small-overlap test is designed to replicate what happens when only the front corner of a vehicle strikes an object. According to a 2009 IIHS study, this happens in about a quarter of frontal collisions involving serious or fatal injury to front-seat occupants, even in cars with otherwise good crash protection.
Among the important criteria that Consumer reports uses to recommend a vehicle stipulates that a model scores well in their testing, have average or better reliability and perform adequately if included in crash tests performed by the IIHS and the government. Because initially they waited for the IIHS to test a big lot of cars, they did not factor this test in their final decision.
But by now the IIHS has tested more than 60 cars and SUVs, with only 11 vehicles earning a “Good” rating (the highest) and 15 rating “Poor”. So, the Consumer Reports announced that they feel the need to include in the final assessment this new test and also remove their recommendation from any vehicle that scored “Poor”.
Because most of the models that scored poorly are already not recommended by Consumer Reports for other reasons, the A4 and the three Toyotas are the only ones affected. Those models could regain their recommendations if they are retested in the small-overlap test and achieve better scores as manufacturers are working aggressively to improve performance in the test.
Via Consumer Reports