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Luxury cars fail new Insurance Institute of Highway Safety crash tests

Posted On Tue, August 14, 2012

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently developed a new, and more rigorous, frontal crash test - one that several midsize luxury sedans have not been able to pass, according to the Washington Post.

The luxury models were the first to participate in the new crash test, which was designed to replicate the damage sustained when a car strikes another car or a stationary object. The test consists of running the front end of a car into a five-foot-wide barrier at 40 miles per hour.

According to the Post, of the 2012-model cars tested, only two received the highest score of "Good" - the Acura TL and the Volvo S60.  Several other luxury models received moderate scores of "Acceptable" or "Marginal," and four cars were labeled the distressing "Poor": the Audi A4, Mercedes Benz C-Class and Lexus IS 250 and ES 350. None of the cars tested in this round market for less than $30,000.

Achieving a score of "Good" is best for the auto manufacturer for obvious reasons - it makes the car desirable for drivers concerned with safety and bolsters the manufacturer's reputation. 

However, purchasing a car labeled "Good" by the IIHS is also beneficial to the consumer: if a car earns a spot on the IIHS Top Safety Picks list, a consumer who purchases that car may be entitled to lower auto insurance rates and premiums, according to Auto Trends Magazine.

The IIHS plans to incorporate the new test into its standards for Top Safety Picks in 2013.

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