Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Safety & Crast Test Ratings

robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,819
edited March 6 in Ford
Those that claim that the test isn't demonstrative of the real world - it's true that there are other accicent types. But at least the test is done the same way for every vehicle so it provides an excellent way to measure results - it's consistant and repeatable. So it is a valid test.

BTW, a 40 mph offset crash is very demonstrative of the real world.
«134

Comments

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    rib2, don't really mean to single out your post, but it is what i was looking for.
    the meteor hitting car could be a consistent test too.
    the paper airplane hitiing car could be a consistent test too.
    do collisions like the one in the test happen? how often? what are the odds?
    it is good to have crash tests, but don't read too much into certain tests.
    how about this? ford could have put less grippy tires on the car. it would slide more when hit, instead of standing it's ground. probably would have done better in THAT test.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    In the real world, not world of brand enthusiasts, some people would like to have a repetitive quantifiable measure in which vehicle performance in a give area can be judged. While 0-60 number is not perfect (you actually may gear the car around it), everybody agreed once that this is the way we look at the cars' acceleration.

    Same with crash tests - do they represent everything possible? No, but they are repetitive and quantifiable. As long as they are performed honestly (and nobody is alleging otherwise), their results are taken as a measure of cars' safety. Perfect? No. Helpful? You bet.

    As I said before - go through Ford's materials in the past. Five stars from NHTSA for Taurus - trupeted everywhere they could. Fusion sucked at IIHS - suddenly it is a meteor test, not real scenario, etc. Fans, who cannot stand that anything negative could be even whispered, flood the forums with angry comments "how dare they even publish the damn thing - I know better", "I love the car and so should you", "Who cares about the tests - I will just avoid accidents altogether".

    While everybody is entitled to believe whatever they want, it is simply childish to refuse acknowledge reality, i.e. there is an industry-accepted measure of safety, while not perfect or complete, still highly relevant, and Fusion simply failed it.

    Stop complaining about the test and fix the car!

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • f111df111d Posts: 114
    I notice it was not there. Or is that being done by another insurance group. For the last 4-5years or so it's been on TV touted as preferred test? By who, I guess?

    I can't believe Ford somewhere didn't know going in that it was marginal?

    I always wonder how much all this crash protection,ABS,yaw control and etc influences the apparent "lack of concern for others" driving technics displayed on our roads today????
    TNX
    Paul
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,819
    As dino says - the IIHS are done the same way for every vehicle. Repeatable and measureable are the basis for valid testing.

    Meteors and airplanes hitting cars would be valid tests as well if they were done the same way every time in a controlled environment.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    NHTSA (government) admitted that their test is significanlty less demanding than IIHS (insurance groups). Here are some differences:
    1. Dummy size: NHTSA uses full male, IIHS uses smaller female dummy. It is easier to good "good grade" on larger dummy.
    2. Injury detection: NHTSA looks only at torso/rib cage and makes no assessments on head. This is especially visible in side impact tests, where goverment gives five stars and IIHS gives marginal due to sever head injury.
    3. Offset vs frontal: NHTSA uses frontal (equivalent to wall), IIHS uses offset (more likely in two vehicle collisions or collision with a barrier, attenuattor and other safety installation on the roadside)

    There are some other differences. Basicall, NHTSA test is old, it was developed long time ago and kept that way. Due to nature of government where all changes are always subejct to party negotiations, lobbying, etc. IIHS is a private institution funded by insurance companies. Whatever you might say about evil insurance industry (we all have our stories), those guys are exactly interested in which cars are potentially better, which are not (their livelyhood depends on it). They are changing tests with new discoveries and the process is definitely less sensitive to political pressure (auto industry cannot come to the and say if you impose tougher standards, so many jobs will be lost).

    That's, why IIHS tests are arguably the hardest (most demanding), but also the most informative about the newest passive (accident) safety developments.

    I do not argue with necessity of assessment of other safety features, like ABS, SC, etc. They are very important for "active" (accident avoidance) safety. Insurance already includes some of that in discounts, but it is not uniform (does it have to be?) and probably behind developments (i.e. safety credit on new cars may be somewhat lagging the real safety).

    It does not change, however, my opinion about structural crashwothiness of Mazda6 platform - it stinks (as for today's standards), period. In 1991 it would have been the safest platform on the road, for the price, today it is not. It is that simple. They better fix it and do it fast.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Repeatable and measureable are the basis for valid testing.

    I agree. But repeatable doesn't mean running the same test once for each vehicle. It means that if you ran the same test on the same vehicle you'd get the same results each time.

    Since the IIHS only does 1 frontal offset crash test per vehicle it's pretty hard to determine that it's a repeatable test or if there is a lot of test to test variation.

    I'm not saying it's a bad test - it's not. But why not do 2 or 3 repeat tests on cars that fail the first one? Wouldn't that give you a much more statistically accurate result and eliminate the possibility of a one-time random occurence?

    The other problem is that you'll have mfrs building cars specifically to pass the IIHS test which might mean it's safer for an offset frontal crash at 40 mph but it could be much less safe at all other types of crashes.

    Why not at least give the mfr the option of having the test done with side airbags BEFORE releasing the test results? Because they're agenda is to force all safety equipment to be standard so the consumer doesn't have a choice.

    If you were doing a performance test between a pontiac GTO and Mustang would you pick the V6 mustang to go against the V8 GTO? Of course not, you'd get the optional V8 for the Mustang. So if you're doing a safety test, why not test with all available safety equipment?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    A couple of clarifications on your post: first, manufacturers can ask for a second IIHS test if they think that the results do not match what they have found in their own testing. (I think they have to pay for the vehicle for the 2nd test, though.) Second, the manufacturer does have the option of having the test done with (optional) side airbags. Look at all of the Fusion competitors that have been tested with optional side airbags (e.g. the Camry and recently the G6). But they have to pay for that test.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    The other problem is that you'll have mfrs building cars specifically to pass the IIHS test which might mean it's safer for an offset frontal crash at 40 mph but it could be much less safe at all other types of crashes

    That's why IIHS constantly updates the tests and adds new ways of measuring safety. Side impact tests are not that old, several years ago it was not even on the radar screen of non-luxury buyer. It was put there when we all agreed that frontal impact safety had essentially been solved i.e. there was a know-how and it was a matter of choice or abilities of particular manufacturer to implement it in models. We can see it in results - most current midsize models have a good and virtally all have at least acceptable rating for frontal impact from IIHS and four stars are given in NHTSA. Side and rear impact came in focus. Early results showed who was the true leader and who lagged behind.

    Those who lag will find dozens of explanations, which would not change the fact that they are, well, behind.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    I know they can have the second test done and Ford is doing that. But it's stupid to do 2 tests when one would suffice if they simply bought a car with the optional side airbags in the first place. And even so, at least WAIT until the mfr submits the second car and both tests are completed so they can report that it failed without the air bags but passed with them. The problem is they release the first results to huge headlines and all kinds of bad PR. I guarantee you when they finish the retesting with side airbags and release the results it will barely be mentioned in the media. The damage is done.

    I still think the IIHS has an agenda to force these to be standard and it appears to be working - Ford will make them standard on the Fusion for 2007.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Again, you are incorrect:

    "And even so, at least WAIT until the mfr submits the second car and both tests are completed so they can report that it failed without the air bags but passed with them. The problem is they release the first results to huge headlines and all kinds of bad PR."

    Ford had the option of providing a side curtain equipped Fusion. They CHOSE not to initially, then reneged. Evidence? PONTIAC. IIHS tested the G6, without OPTIONAL side curtians, GM CHOSE to submit a version with, and voila! the vehicle is stamped with an ACCEPTABLE rating for Press Release. Why should the IIHS wait to release the ratings, when Ford originally CHOSE NOT to retest the Ford? Any "Bad PR" is Fords fault on this one.

    Why do you insist on construing the tests to conform to your opinion?

    ~alpha
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,500
    IIHS test cars with their "base configuration", as one that is most expected to be purchased. Knowing that people would rather buy leather or stereo than airbags, there is a lot validity in this approach. Also, it is about "basic" level provided by a manufacturer: if basic means no airbags, so be it.

    I remember couple of years ago Camry could be had with airbags only as a part of $3000 package (V6 was required, IIRC), which was stressed by the reporter.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Of course IIHS has an agenda, they are funded by the insurance industry, so anything the insurance industry can do to lower their payouts for accidents and injuries, they will do. Nothing particularly wrong with that agenda, as long as they commensurately reduce insurance rates as their costs for claims goes down!

    The biggest problem I see with all these tests is trying to correlate them to real world improvements in safety, and that is a much tougher job to prove.

    You can make the worlds most safe car for the driver, but it's inherent rigidity can then make it a menace to other vehicles, for example as it might offer less energy absorption through components designed to crush.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Where did it say that Ford had the chance to submit a second airbag equipped car for testing before the press release and chose not to? It's no secret that you get crappy results without them, so why would Ford knowingly ignore the opportunity to get an acceptable rating?

    If they did so then I agree it's their fault for the bad press.

    If you look at the crash test results for the 2006 Camry without side airbags you'll find that the results for driver head injuries are actually worse than the Fusion. So please don't tell me how unsafe the Fusion is when it's actually safer than the best selling car in the U.S.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,819
    Repeatable and measureable are the basis for valid testing.

    I agree. But repeatable doesn't mean running the same test once for each vehicle. It means that if you ran the same test on the same vehicle you'd get the same results each time.

    Since the IIHS only does 1 frontal offset crash test per vehicle it's pretty hard to determine that it's a repeatable test or if there is a lot of test to test variation.


    The test is repeatable and measureable - that's the important part. The variable being tested is the vehicle.

    I'm not an engineer but I would presume there is little variance among the same highly engineered vehicles coming off the same highly automated and tested assembly line. Testing more than one of the exact same vehicle shouldn't have to happen.

    One Fusion should be the same as the next when it comes to a test such as this. If not, there's a greater problem beyond failing the IIHS test.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    It's the variability of the test - not the vehicle - that's questionable.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Where did it say that Ford had the chance to submit a second airbag equipped car for testing before the press release and chose not to?

    Right here: http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr030506.html

    The Fusion's side airbags aren't standard equipment, and the Institute's policy is to test vehicles without these airbags if they're optional. Manufacturers who want a second test with side airbags have to reimburse the Institute for the cost of the vehicle. Initially, Ford didn't request a second test of the Fusion with optional side airbags.

    "Usually when an automaker doesn't ask for the optional test, we presume it means the side airbags wouldn't help much to improve the car's rating," explains Lund. "But now Ford has requested a second test, so the Fusion with side airbags may earn a better rating than poor. We'll conduct the test and report the result."
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,819
    The test isn't variable - it's done the exact same way every time. What is being tested is what changes - one test is a Fusion, another test is a Malibu, et al.

    I'd go as far as saying that if the IIHS tested 10 exact Fusions, they would all come out with the same result.

    There shouldn't be any variability in the same model vehicle - it's a highly engineered product assembled from components that meet Six Sigma quality levels. If there is variability, there's a greater problem.
  • calhoncalhon Posts: 87
    Crash tests are designed for high repeatability, but there is always some variation from one test to another. The dummy might not be placed in precisely the same position, the barrier speed and impact point might not be exactly the same; the dummy instruments may record slightly different values, etc.

    You can see variation in the detailed structure measurements for the Accord, Malibu and Galant with and without airbags:

    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/datatables.aspx?class=30&type=s

    It didn't matter in the above instances, but if a structure or injury measurement is close to cut-point, a rating could change from say "Good" to "Acceptable" on a second test.

    That said, I doubt very much that the Fusion's front-impact right leg/foot rating would change on a retest.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    i agree with you, the fusion did not do well in that test and that is not good. it is bad press and possibly bad for the owner of one. that is only part of the story.
    change the parameters a bit and things can change.
    my point is the crash results are great comparison tools if you happen to experience that exact scenario.
    i would like to see a range of tests. that would be really expensive, though.
    my driving includes a small sedan and a convertible. i don't feel like i am risking my life driving either. :surprise:
  • calhoncalhon Posts: 87
    "change the parameters and things can change"

    You are exactly right. For example, quoting myself:

    The NHTSA has proposed changes in side impact testing, including a new 75-degree pole test - the world's first gov't/3rd-party angled pole test. It simulates crashes into things such as trees and utility poles, which are fairly common and quite dangerous.

    The NHTSA subjected a number of cars to the new test. These cars were already certified for sale in the US; so they all passed the existing 90-degree tests. Some of the cars failed the test miserably because the head curtain airbags failed to deploy - hence massive head injuries.

    The NHTSA's conclusion is that the crash sensors were so finely tuned for 90-degree crashes that they failed to detect a 30-mph crash into a pole at 75 degrees!
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    Initially, Ford didn't request a second test of the Fusion with optional side airbags.

    Well, if that's true then I agree it was a stupid move from a PR standpoint. They should have retested right away.

    As far as side airbags being optional, they're optional on the 2006 Camry - the best selling car in America. So it's not like Ford's alone.

    I don't believe that testing 10 vehicles will produce 10 identical results. It's easy enough to prove - I'd settle for 5 tests.

    If someone can find an accident in the next 8 months where someone in a Fusion broke their right leg or ankle then I'll be more concerned.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    As far as side airbags being optional, they're optional on the 2006 Camry - the best selling car in America. So it's not like Ford's alone.

    No, Ford is not alone. But the 2006 Camry is history--the 2007 Camry is out now. It has seven airbags standard, including side bags and side curtains. The Accord has side bags and curtains standard. The Sonata has side bags and curtains standard. Note there is a trend here.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,690
    But the 2006 Camry is history--the 2007 Camry is out now. It has seven airbags standard, including side bags and side curtains.

    And so will the 2007 Fusion in a few months.

    I didn't hear anybody complain about the 2006 Camry having optional side airbags. I guess it's only a problem if it's a Ford.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,720
    Well, this is a discussion about the Fusion and Milan--not about all the other cars that don't have side airbags and curtains standard. If you want to find out how many people complained about the 2006 Camry not having the side bags standard, this is not the place to do it. Obviously enough people complained about it, or Toyota would not have made them standard for 2007. Or maybe they just realized that this is something their major competitors were doing, so they had better get in the ball game. At least Toyota was smart enough to pay for a test of the 2006 Camry with side bags from the start, unlike Ford, who did it only after they heard the press and public reaction to the IIHS tests.
  • ctalkctalk Posts: 646
    Well Toyota realized they should put it as a standard feature in the NG Camry.

    Ford should have known that putting standard side/curtain airbags is becoming a must in this segment. It took a bad IIHS score to make them realize that.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    BTW, a 40 mph offset crash is very demonstrative of the real world.

    No, it is not. It's only valid for those crashes at no other speed than 40MPH between a car and a non-deformable barrier. Never mind crashes between cars of different weights at any other speed, you know, the real-world crashes...
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,699
    so many are focused on that specific scenario. it does have some value, the real world is very different. there are a whole lot of variables.
  • pmerk28pmerk28 Posts: 121
    Man that lady in the Milan commericals is gorgeous. Not a bad looking car either....
  • bitusabitusa Posts: 60
    Actually, the decision was made way before the IIHS crash test. It will be standard on cars built starting in September. That decision was made many months ago.

    If you look at other IIHS crash test results, they pick vehicles that include optional features. I have no idea why they chose a Fusion without available side air bags. They could have chosen one with them.
  • britcritbritcrit Posts: 1
    Pmerk28,

    Her name is Jill Wagner. More info about her at:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1489978/

    She is currently filming a TV version of Blade. I believe it is intended for air on Spike TV.

    Thanks!
«134
This discussion has been closed.