2014 Toyota Corolla misses the mark in tough crash test



The redesigned Toyota Corolla earned a Marginal Rating for its performance in the tough Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap front crash test.

The driver’s space was seriously compromised by an intruding structure and measurements indicate that lower left leg injuries would be possible in a crash of this severity.  Also, the dummy’s head hit the front air bag, but rolled to the left as the steering wheel moved to the right, which left the head vulnerable to contact with the windshield pillar and dashboard.

This frontal crash simulates just a small overlap between the front of a car and an object or vehicle it hits. It involves just 25 percent of the width of the vehicle, concentrating the force on essentially the left front corner. The tested vehicles career into a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph.

The Corolla still earns the Top Safety Pick award for receiving a Good rating in the other four tests—moderate overlap front crash, side impact, rollover, and rear impact, but not the Top Safety Pick+.  That is awarded to those models that earn a Good or Acceptable in this rigorous, new test. The Corolla falls short with a Marginal score.

In August, the Institute put 10 other small cars to this test before the Corolla was released and the Dodge Dart, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, and Scion tC all earned the Top Safety Pick+ accolade.

In December, the IIHS will change the requirements for their awards and a Good or Acceptable score in the small overlap test will be needed to earn the Top Safety Pick award.  Top Safety Pick+ will be given to vehicles that have forward collision warning systems and perform well in the Institutes crash avoidance tests.

We recently took ownership of the new Corolla and the small sedan impresses us thus far.  We are putting it through our battery of tests at our track and will report the results in the coming weeks.

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