Prius Safety & Crash Test Ratings

moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
edited May 2014 in Toyota
IIHS crash tested the Prius and obtained marginal results.
Very surprising.

The report dinged the Toyota Prius, awarding it a marginal safety rating in rear-crash tests.


  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    No it's not at all. The vehicle is rated Good/Good/Marginal which is a step below their own 'Gold Standard' simply due to the new rear crash test criteria put in place last year. BTW no older generation vehicle of any maker ( except Subaru ) passed this new test with a 'Good' rating. NONE. But you knew that already and where just taking pot shots right. ;)

    This confirms what has been said all along that the performance will replicate the European testing results ( with all the airbags ).

    The 'Marginal' rear collision result is a 'generational' item. This new IIHS test was stipulated last year after all the preceeding models, Accord, Camry, Taurus, Coroola, Civic, Prius et. al. were designed back in 1999-2000. The new generations of these models, like the new Civic, are designed to meet or exceed this new test. But again you knew that as well. ;)

    The new Camry, Altima, Corolla & Accord ( next year ) etc, etc all should get Good/Good/Good ratings. What will be surprising is if any vehicle like the new Fusion/Milan fails any of the three tests. With all the technology and testing criteria known now no new model should get anything less than Good/Good/Good.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    This confirms what has been said all along that the performance will replicate the European testing results ( with all the airbags.

    Why does Toyota continue to be Cheap Charlie's? I would think they would include the side airbags as standard like the competition.

    If the EU testing for crash worthiness is good enough? Why isn't the Euro4 emissions acceptable?

    Did Toyota/Lexus get caught off guard on the rear crash tests? Their whole lineup got an overall poor to marginal rating. As did many automakers.

    Funny you should mention the Civic passing the rear crash test. The test looks to be designed to test the seat & headrest. The headrest being uncomfortable is one of the big complaints with the 2006 Civic. So much that some drivers take them out. Sorry to go off topic.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Why does Toyota continue to be Cheap Charlie's? I would think they would include the side airbags as standard like the competition.

    If the EU testing for crash worthiness is good enough? Why isn't the Euro4 emissions acceptable?

    Did Toyota/Lexus get caught off guard on the rear crash tests? Their whole lineup got an overall poor to marginal rating. As did many automakers

    It's a 'generational design' situation. The prior generations of all vehicles ( those conceived in the late 90's ) had SAC Airbags as options-only in nearly all cases. All automakers normally keep the same standard equipment throughout a whole generation of a vehicle. Accords, Camry's, Altima's, Fusions, Corolla's, Civics, Avalons, Prius', etc all designed in the late 90's were built this way.

    All the new models beginning in 2005 and later will likely have SAC Airbags as standard equipment.

    All the automakers I'm sure were notified by the IIHS that it was going to add a new testing criteria to it's program. It's a courtesy offered in business all the time. I'm also sure that the automakers knew that their existing models would do poorly in comparison when the IIHS published it's new ratings. In fact the two top performers one year, the Camry and the Accord with SAC Airbags, dropped to the bottom of the pack with all others when the Active head restraint criteria was added. The Ford 500 happened to be propitiously timed in that it was the first 'new' vehicle to be able to take into account the new testing criteria.... so it's now at the top.

    Subaru and Volvo and Saab have always been at the forefront and it may be that the IIHS used these 3 manufacturers additional safety equipment ( active head restraints ) as a model for it's new testing. Only supposition here.

    One of the IIHS's primary purposes is to continue to push the envelope in the matter of vehicle safety. Notice on their last press release they stated that they've achieved what they wanted in terms of frontal crash results so from now forward they have 'declared victory' and it's time to move on to another criteria.... minimizing whiplash injuries and probably VSC.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    NONE. But you knew that already and where just taking pot shots right.

    No, I did not know that.

    But again you knew that as well.

    Nope, you are making assumptions that are completely incorrect.

    And, why do you use cite EURO NCAP testing results for Prius. They are not relevant.

    The Subaru Impreza is smaller and older than the Prius and it received a good.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    See my preceeding post re: the Subies.

    The question had been posed many times what were the crashtest results for the Prius and the answer was that they were likely to be the same as the EURO / NCAP's since the tests are the same.

    IIHS spokesperson on MS/NBS this hour..
    The Prius did very well on both frontal and side impact tests and 'could improve' it's rear collision test performance, It remains the third ranked vehicle in it's class according to him.
  • jen611jen611 Member Posts: 3
    Does anybody have any feedback on driving in bad weather conditions? I currently drive a Hyundai Elantra, and my husband drives a Dodge Neon, so I am expacting that by comparison, it can't be much worse. Would upgrading to better tires improve the car's handling of these conditions?

    Thank you,
  • tnanatnana Member Posts: 10
    I feel it's little unsafe to have the button for Parking exposed near other controls. It could get pressed accidently while driving and trying to turn on wipers or openeing vent etc.

    The button needs a cover.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Well, first off it's not a "parking button". It's an on/off switch. If you press it when driving it will shut off the car but will not engage the parking "pawl" until the vehicle stops. If you accidentally press it just press it again to turn the car back on. You can select "park" using the shift lever, but again, it will not engage the "parking pawl" until the vehicle stops moving. Several owners have tried it to see what happens, and that's why we know. ;)

    This is no different than any other car on the road. You can put any automatic into "park" while moving. Most will not engage the pawl until stopped. Some older vehicles will try and can lock up the wheels or damage the pawl once they slow enough for it to drop in.
    You can also turn off the keyswitch on any vehicle when moving. Not a good idea as it can lock the steering.
  • rafael2rafael2 Member Posts: 20
    Hola to all. Speaking of safety, I'm a family man with 2 very young ones. I need a car and my first choice would be a M3 from BMW however, with 2 young ones, gas prices, and my heavy foot driving style is not a good combination. My 2001 Odyssey is a exexcellenthoice but, it also consumes mucho gas and money so, I will get a Prius.

    I have done research on the Prius and have over 6 hours of driving and testing. Everything is good (NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE PRICE) but, SAFETY.

    I did a image search on Google about "Prius accidents" looking for pictures and stories about how the Prius stand up to reality.

    In my inconclusive search I found a constant, the Prius is junk in a over 40mph crash. So, I said "have that Gap Insurance ready" but, what about people's injury? and how serious they were?

    ANy iminput
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    With a young family and wanting a safer car to drive, I would get a Camry Hybrid or the Highlander Hybrid, AWD. :)
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    The Prius rates very good in crash protection of occupants. In all highway crash aftermath pictures I have seen (6 so far) the passenger cabin was intact. The Prius does sacrifice itself to protect the passengers, and it looks rather dramatic (engine under passenger cabin for example, or hanging off the front). In most cases the doors still opened! Injuries I've heard about were mostly from the G forces, not from the body collapsing into the passengers. This included two collisions with SUVs. In one other head on collision with a Celica on the highway, the two people in the Prius walked, while one in the Celica died and the other two were helicoptered to hospital.

    I think there is a crash test video on the Prius somewhere on the net. It was posted on Priuschat.

    As far as the price, it's about the same as a Camry. The Prius has about the same passenger and cargo room as the Camry, so I think it's a fair comparison. The Prius has more usable space, due to the hatchback. In hybrid form, the Camry has less room than the Prius. The Camry hybrid is more comfortable on long trips but gets worse mileage than the Prius. There is a comparison thread over on Priuschat.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    "As far as the price, it's about the same as a Camry. The Prius has about the same passenger and cargo room as the Camry, so I think it's a fair comparison. The Prius has more usable space, due to the hatchback. In hybrid form, the Camry has less room than the Prius."

  • ck90211ck90211 Member Posts: 159
    I second terry92270's assessment on Prius space (vs. Camry). I have two kids (14/10), one is a six footer, and no problem with Prius at all, although it is narrower than a Camry. Prius truck is wonderful, I can shop at Home Depot and Ikea without thinking twice. And the 10 extra mpg of Prius over Camry Hybrid is a nice plus too.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Member Posts: 1,015
    Actually it was my assessment. Terry didn't understand it. Sooo...
    - luggage rm leg room head room shoulder room
    Camry 15 cu ft F41.6" R38.3" F39" R37" F57.8" R56.7"
    Prius 16.1 cu ft F42" R38.6" F42" R38.6" F55.3" R53"
    Cam Hy 10.6 cu ft F42.5" R35.7" F39" R37" F57.8" R56.7"

    You can see the Prius has slightly more cargo room, but it's more usable because the hatchback gives a larger opening to load oversize objects.
    I used the Camry without moonroof as the Prius doesn't have one.

    Note the Camry weights 300-600 lbs more than the Prius (600 lbs in Hybrid form).

    All numbers from the website.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Well, the measurements don't lie, but the Camry Hybrid sure does seem bigger inside! :)
  • tnanatnana Member Posts: 10
    Well I don't know which year model you are talking about but I am talking about 2006 model. It has On/Off Swicth which goes behind steering wheel. But it also has a parking button between shift lever and driver's right vent. This button needs to be pushed to put the car in parking gear. The shift lever can be used to put the car in Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Drive2 only.

    I tested at 5MPH in both Drive and Backup mode that pushing Parking button HALTS the car. I wonder what will happen if the car is at higher speeds.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    If you test that, make sure you are wearing your seatbelt. :P
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    Yes, always nice when people with no life try to tell others what the reasons are they should or should not do something. :P

    I always wondered where all those old Communist bosses went to...
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I have 2 Camrys, 2004 and 2005 models. My son bought a 2006 Prius. The Prius is every bit as roomy as our Camrys with regard to headroom and legroom. Where the Camry excels is in its extra width, so if you need to regularly carry 3 adults (or large children) in the back, then the Camry would be better.

    The 2007 Camry has about the same interior space as the prior generation (2002-06), but the trunk size has been reduced somewhat (gas engine models). With the Camry Hybrid, the battery reduces even more the available space and intrudes greatly into the opening when you fold down the rear seats.

    One more thing, for the poster with a "heavy foot," I'd highly advise lightening up when you're carrying your loved ones.
  • feffer37feffer37 Member Posts: 3
    I'm looking for any information anyone may have in regards to a Toyota Prius being on fire, or more specifically, a 2005 Toyota Prius (or any other model year) catching fire. I would appreciate anyone's information.


  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Not sure I understand your question.....

    Are you worried that a Prius might catch on fire because it's a hybrid?

    Did you hear of a Prius fire and are doing more research?

    Please let us know more specifically what your informational requirement is.....
  • feffer37feffer37 Member Posts: 3
    We're investigating a house fire, which we suspect the vehicle in the garage caused. That vehicle happened to be a 2005 Toyota Prius. So yes, we have seen a fire which a Prius was present, and are trying to rule out all possibilities of the source of ignition. In this case, I am trying to find out if anyone else has actually seen or heard of a Prius actually being the cause of a fire, not just sensationilst rumors.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Personally, I think it's remote at best. There is nothing inherently flammable about a Prius or the Toyota HSD system.

    I can honestly say that in almost 3 years of being a fan of hybrids and keeping up almost daily with hybrid news articles, the only Prius fire I have ever even heard about was one caused by a Prius crashing into a convenience store and catching on fire from the result of the crash.

    And that story was from a reliable news source.
  • stevegoldstevegold Member Posts: 185
    "Has anyone heard of a Prius on Fire?" would have been a less alarmist and more useful headline.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,140
    You can always ask a host to change titles. Not every new member will get it exactly right the first time.

    Feffer37, sorry to hear about your fire. :sick:

    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    Our 2001 Prius just caught on fire a few weeks ago. The battery caught on fire while it was sitting in our driveway. We were not driving it, and it hadn't been driven since around 6pm the previous evening.

    If it would have been parked in our garage, I am certain our house would have been destroyed.

    If you want to see pictures, then I can e-mail them to you.

    Good luck.
  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    It's not remote. Ours caught on fire, and we have found out about another one. The owner's name was Silverman, and there was an LA times article about his prius fire.

    Both our car, and the other prius fire pictures are posted on a prius yahoo group.
  • kwatsonkwatson Member Posts: 1

    Can you please please please email pictures? We would appreciate it. happy1number1 at aol dot com.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    You aslo could post the pics on your CarSpace page and we ALL can get a look at them! ;)

    If you need any help with your CarSpace page, just click on my username and pop me an email, and I'd be happy to get you pointed in the right direction!
  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    I created an album called Prius Fire. I hope everyone can see it.

    Here's a link to one of the pictures. 252.jpg/page/photo.html#pic

    Not quite sure how to post the link to the first picture in it.

    Let me know if you can get the pictures.

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Wow... that was some fire! Just below the picture on the CarSpace page you'll see two boxes. One has the URL for linking to the page, and the other has the HTML you can copy to embed the picture in a post.
  • mr_hybridmr_hybrid Member Posts: 4
    Hi Ted,

    I've never heard of a Prius catching fire. I've heard of cars catching fire for various reasons, but never a Prius. Is it the batteries you are worried about?
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I would be curious how you are treated by insurance on this fire. Also is Toyota going to be involved as the battery should still be under warranty?
  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    We have contacted both insurance and Toyota.

    Our insurance (AAA) has been wonderful. They towed the car to the dealership, they got us a rental, and they are going to pay for the car.

    Toyota has done nothing. We just got a certified letter from Toyota legal saying that they are not covering the fire (warranty void) because we did not take it is for this procdure during a service campaing (SSC-40G). They said they sent us letters about it. The letters they sent to us were around the time my brother died, so I think I probably just threw the letters away thinking they were just Toyota junk mail.

    We routinely check for recalls, but this was not a recall so we didn't know about this one.

    Anyway, the Special Service Campaign just said the batteries could leak and it could cause your engine to stall. (We've searched on the web and read the notices since the fire.) The notices do not mention the Prius' can catch on fire when they are not in use. The notices do not mention that your warranty is void if you do not take it in to have this done.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Well if AAA will pay the bills that is good. Let them fight it out with Toyota. AAA has a great staff of attorneys. I doubt that Toyota would like it if they refused to write policies on the Hybrids.
  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    AAA is being wonderful. For all the negatives of Toyota, there are positives about AAA.

    Our attitude right now is that it is not worth it to battle Toyota.

    However, we are trying to get out the word about the fire.

    We've contacted the NHTSA and made a complaint. My husband posted pictures of the fire on a Prius yahoo group. I've contacted a newspaper reporter.

    My husband and I are also going to change how we service our cars. It will cost us more money in the short run, but hopefully we'll end up saving money.

    We are going to start taking our cars into the dealers to have them serviced, regularly. I think only dealers know what the problems are with the car, and can do any recalls or special service campaigns.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    As costly as some dealer service may be, I would advise using them at least as long as the warranty period. That way they do not have an excuse to sneak away from problems. Most new vehicles I have owned were serviced very reasonably at the dealers. I rarely get nicked over $25 for oil & filter change at the dealers. Most of the time they have specials. My last two on my new GMC were free.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Making a big deal about any car fire is just IMHO silly.

    Cars catch on fire.

    There is nothing about the Prius that makes it more flammable than any other car.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    You know this is not true. Cars rarely catch fire sitting idle for a long period of time. There have been several Prius fires directly related to the traction battery. I don't know if this is one that was part of the battery recall or not. If so and the owner failed to take it in? I would be a bit nervous parking one in my garage attached to the house.

    I know you don't like it but the Hybrids attract media attention. Who would care if a 2005 Focus caught fire? Unless it burnt down half the county it would not get any write-ups.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    We are NOT going to do this again in another topic. We get it. You disagree about hybrids.

    Let's stop this before it gets any legs please.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,140
    And, let's remember that it is never a big deal til it happens to you. Hybrid or not, it is extremely unsettling, so let's let members express themselves.

    I know I would be blown away if my (non-hybrid) car caught fire.

    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    I don't know of other cars that catch on fire when no one is in them.

    A car fire is a big deal whether or not it is a hybrid or not.

    My sister-in-law's car caught on fire when my niece was a tiny baby strapped into the carseat next to her. My sister-in-law barely caught my niece out of the car alive.

    If our Prius had been parked in the garage, I don't know what would have happened to our house. My son's room is right above the garage. It's a scary thought. Thank God, our garage is a total mess right now and we didn't park it.

    Car fires (hybrid or not) are a serious matter, and you want to find out what started them in order to prevent them.

    I would hate for another Prius to catch on fire and someone be killed.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Completely agree with all your posts in regard to the serious nature of car fires and how they should be taken seriously.

    But my point is that there is nothing inherent to the Prius that makes it more flammable than other cars.

    I did this research a couple of years ago and there are TONS of incidents of cars catching on fire that were not hybrid cars, and VERY VERY few incidents of hybrid fires.

    Anyone trying to say that the Prius is a dangerous, flammable, self-combustible vehicle, well that is just not a true statement.

    A Google search of "Prius fire" returns 16 hits, and 5 of those are Suzikn's. Only one of them refers to anyone's Prius catching on fire - there was one 2005 story about a guy whose Prius caught on fire overnite at the dealership, but who knows what could have caused that. There was another story I remember about a Prius which crashed into a convenience store and the gas leaked and it caused a fire.

    A Google News search of Prius fire returns no news stories of Prius fires.

    At the NTHSA complaint website, there are 2 instances of Prius fires, both in the 2001 model year. There was a recall for a leakage problem on those vehicles which might have caused those fires.

    There are about 500,000 or slightly more Priuses in the world on the roads right now, and if there was an issue with the traction battery being self-flammable and/or a fire danger, that information would be ALL OVER THE PLACE and would be constantly used by the


    crowds to forward their own interests. And believe me because I know this is a fact: There are A LOT of people who want to see the Prius fail. And they would be using this like a Golden Hammer if it was a real problem.

    I am very sorry about your Prius fire, but it was not because the Prius is a hybrid. Car fires happen.
  • suziknsuzikn Member Posts: 8
    "But my point is that there is nothing inherent to the Prius that makes it more flammable than other cars."

    Well, the one thing that is inherent to our Prius is that we got it the first year. Whenever you have new technology there is a higher chance that there could be problems. The fire did start in the battery which is the newest technology in the car.

    Just because there haven't been many Prius fires (thank God), doesn't mean there isn't still a problem that is just coming out in these later years of use.

    You said "There was a recall for a leakage problem on those vehicles which might have caused those fires."

    It was not a recall with the leakage problem. That's one of my issues that I have with Toyota. It was a Special Service Campaign, and it was not supposed to cause a fire. The most it was supposed to do if you didn't get it fixed was cause the engine to stall.

    If a leakage could cause a fire (which according to the letter that we got from Toyota is the case), then Prius for that model should be recalled. A recall is a much larger and more publicized action.

    I know when we've had recalls, the envelopes that are sent out usually say in large letters RECALL. I immediately open those and find out what is going on.

    Also, recall information goes on many websites and it's easy to find out if a car has a recall. You can't do the same with a "Special Service Campaign".
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    It could be in just the 2001 model. That would be a very few cars. The other one that caught fire on the dealers lot was also a 2001 model. The sad part is Toyota did not give him replacement cost on the totaled Prius.
  • jbarnhartjbarnhart Member Posts: 2
    Oddly enough, a good friend just called me because his 2001 Prius just spontaneously caught fire and burned in his driveway. The source of ignition seems to be the traction battery. I'm sure he would be interested in exchanging information. Email me at joe(dot)barnhart(at)gmail(dot)com
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Welcome to the forum.

    If you have any of the particulars, like a newspaper article or pictures, be sure and post them for us all to see.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Google Images has 2,510,000 images of car fires. Did not see one Prius fire in the group I looked at.

    "prius car fire" does not turn up any images of burning Prius cars.

    I do feel sorry for the people who have Prius fires, but it's such a rare event.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    You looked at all 2,510,000 images? I think you see the pattern as the first Prius start to age. The batteries are getting old and deteriorating. Connections can loosen up from vibration. Poor connections result in heat. Enough heat and you get a fire. This is not an issue with 12 volts. With 200+ volts it is an issue. Denial will not make it go away as you have hoped for. Comparing a car catching on fire from an accident with a car sitting in a dealer's lot or an owner's driveway is a stretch. We have several now reported on Edmund's. I doubt we would see 1% of the actual cases. As you have said car fires are not newsworthy.
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