Thursday, June 11, 2009

IIHS says small car bumpers are expensive to fix

The insurance-industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performed low-speed bumper collisions on seven vehicles including the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Smart ForTwo, MINI Cooper, and Chevrolet Aveo. Five of the seven cars received "poor" ratings; the Chevrolet garnered "marginal" rating, while the Smart got an "acceptable" rating.

So how expensive are these bumpers to fix? See the table below.

RatingFront fullFront cornerRear fullRear cornerWEIGHTED AVERAGE
Smart FortwoACCEPTABLE$1,480$663$631$507$899
Chevrolet AveoMARGINAL$1,071$1,437$1,370$612$1,155
Mini CooperPOOR$2,291$2,637$929$743$1,637
Toyota YarisPOOR$1,688$1,167$3,345$474$1,951
Honda FitPOOR$1,124$1,216$3,648$999$1,960
Hyundai AccentPOOR$3,476$839$2,057$831$2,123
Kia RioPOOR$3,701$1,758$3,148$773$2,705

The IIHS says, "Better bumpers don't have to be complicated. Auto manufacturers already know how to make good ones. Longer and taller reinforcement bars and energy-absorbing material are key to reducing damage in low-speed collisions."

I think they're thinking something more akin to the bumper on the Toyota van above.

For a complete lineup of photos and the full press release, click the links ... and don't hit anything on your way there. It'll be expensive.

FULL PRESS RELEASE: Mini and microcar bumpers allow pricey damage (IIHS)
IIHS: Small Cars Are Big On Damage In Low-Speed Collisions (Jalopnik)

1 comment:

nlpnt said...

I've recently seen $4k of damage on a Chevy Silverado whose right front fender was creased by a box van. Ma$$ive repair bills are not unique to small cars.

That being said, I DON'T want to have the massive '70s-style bumper beams back; they are just a transfer of the insurance companies' legitimate cost of doing business to the consumer.