Toyota is redesigning vehicles to ace small overlap test

Article by Anita Panait, on August 30, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp. has committed itself to making its vehicles stronger in frontal crash tests after some units like the RAV4 compact crossover received poor safety ratings. Osamu Nagata, chief executive of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. and head of all local manufacturing and r&d, remarked that engineers at the Toyota Technical Center have been reworking designs since 2012 in a bid to make their vehicles stronger.

He said that Toyota is planning to implement midcycle vehicle changes so that it vehicles could perform better in so-called small overlap frontal crash tests, which simulate what happens when a driver the left front quarter of a vehicle is crashed into an object like a tree or pole. The tests, which are conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, are yet to be included in the federal government's five-star ratings.

Researchers say that such crashes are accountable for a large share of driving deaths. The IIHS ratings have become a major marketing factor for brands that are performing well. Among Toyota models that fared poorly on the tests were Toyota Camry and Prius V, getting poor ratings in December 2012.

The RAV4 received poor ratings in July getting updates to improve stability and padding. Nagata told Automotive News in an interview that they are now implementing some design countermeasures to improve their small overlap results, adding that fixes will be made "as soon as possible" to the RAV4 and other vehicles. He said that each Toyota vehicle has its own countermeasure schedule, saying that as soon as designs are ready and parts are fixed, they will have running changes for any vehicle, not only the RAV4.

Nagata remarked that the fixes may include strengthening structural parts. Nagata quipped that they will make sure the customer feels safe.Toyota Motor Corp. has committed itself to making its vehicles stronger in frontal crash tests after some units like the RAV4 compact crossover received poor safety ratings.

Osamu Nagata, chief executive of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. and head of all local manufacturing and r&d, remarked that engineers at the Toyota Technical Center have been reworking designs since 2012 in a bid to make their vehicles stronger. He said that Toyota is planning to implement midcycle vehicle changes so that it vehicles could perform better in so-called small overlap frontal crash tests, which simulate what happens when a driver the left front quarter of a vehicle is crashed into an object like a tree or pole.

The tests, which are conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, are yet to be included in the federal government's five-star ratings. Researchers say that such crashes are accountable for a large share of driving deaths. The IIHS ratings have become a major marketing factor for brands that are performing well.

Among Toyota models that fared poorly on the tests were Toyota Camry and Prius V, getting poor ratings in December 2012. The RAV4 received poor ratings in July getting updates to improve stability and padding.

Nagata told Automotive News in an interview that they are now implementing some design countermeasures to improve their small overlap results, adding that fixes will be made "as soon as possible" to the RAV4 and other vehicles. He said that each Toyota vehicle has its own countermeasure schedule, saying that as soon as designs are ready and parts are fixed, they will have running changes for any vehicle, not only the RAV4. Nagata remarked that the fixes may include strengthening structural parts. Nagata quipped that they will make sure the customer feels safe. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: toyota

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