Report: Toyota wants improved crash scores with midcycle facelifts

Filed under: Safety, Lexus, Scion, Toyota

2013 Toyota Rav4 shown during the IIHS' small-overlap frontal crash

The performances of some Toyotas in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) regimen of crash tests leave something to be desired. Consider the small overlap frontal crash test: only six Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles have undergone the new test, yet all but one of them received a poor rating. Osama Nagata, CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., says midcycle vehicle updates are in the works to address the safety issues brought to light by the IIHS test, Automotive News reports. He confirmed that the RAV4 is getting safety updates following its crash test performance last month, but he didn’t name any other models.

All three Toyotas that were tested – 2013 RAV4, 2012-2013 Prius V, 2012-2013 Camry – received poor ratings. The 2007-2012 Lexus ES 350 and 2006-2013 IS 250/350 also received poor ratings. The only other Toyota Motor Corp. vehicle to score better than poor is the 2014 Scion TC. It received an acceptable rating in the small overlap frontal crash test and is the only recent vehicle in Toyota’s line-up to get the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating.

The small overlap front crash test measures the safety of a car when its front left corner is strikes an object during an accident, bypassing traditional crumple zones, which deform in a way to protect passengers. In 2009, automakers were alerted to the forthcoming addition of the test, which was first implemented last year, IIHS spokesman Russ Rader says. They responded with differing intensity, he says, pointing out that Subaru and Honda started incorporating design changes early on so their cars would perform well in the tests.

Rader says the redesigned Corolla is being tested now, and that the IIHS will release its small overlap frontal crash test results in a few weeks.

Toyota wants improved crash scores with midcycle facelifts originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Subaru Forester scores 5 stars in NHTSA crash test [w/video]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Videos, Crossover, Subaru

2014 Subaru Forester XT

Having aced the crash test from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earning the highest rating of Top Safety Pick+, the 2014 Subaru Forester headed over to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a date with destruction. In the barrage of NHTSA tests, the new Forester met similar results as it did with the IIHS, earning a five-star overall crash rating.

Comparing these number to the previous model, which carried a four-star rating in all areas, the new Forester did much better in the side-impact test to earn a full five stars; frontal and rollover ratings were still at four stars like the old model, but the improved side crashworthiness was enough to gain the NHTSA’s highest overall rating. The frontal impact video is posted below, but all the various test videos can be seen on NHTSA’s website.

Continue reading 2014 Subaru Forester scores 5 stars in NHTSA crash test [w/video]

2014 Subaru Forester scores 5 stars in NHTSA crash test [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Bare-breasted woman’s motorcycle crash caught on cop dashcam

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Motorcycle

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it now: it’s not that stranger things are happening now, it’s just that the interwebz allow us to spread them to the world at the speed of fiber optic light. The latest incident captured on America’s version of the Russian dash-cam, which is the policeman’s dash-cam, is a woman just outside Milwaukee riding erratically down the highway on a motorcycle.

Sure, that’s pretty thin. But this woman had unbuttoned her shirt, was screaming, her breasts bared, slowing down to 10 miles per hour and “kind of assaulting people with her motorcycle,” and speeding up again.

Not surprisingly, she got the attention of the authorities pretty quickly, who followed her until she crashed. Her only injury: a cut on the chin. Her only lapse: riding while under the influence of prescription drugs. For the second time, since she’d been busted for it before.

You can watch the video subtitled “Just another day in America” below. It is totally SFW.

Continue reading Bare-breasted woman’s motorcycle crash caught on cop dashcam

Bare-breasted woman’s motorcycle crash caught on cop dashcam originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Followup: NHTSA rebuffs ‘best ever’ crash test claim by Tesla [w/video]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Videos, Tesla, Electric, Luxury

Tesla Model S after crash frontal crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administraion

In response to Tesla’s claim that the Model S is the safest car ever tested, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a statement clearing up how it rates cars. While not denying that the Model S is a very safe car, the agency said that its rating system is only between one and five stars – nothing higher and nothing lower.

This means that, unlike honors classes in college and high school, there is no way to score above the highest rating, and Tesla says that it received a 5.4-star rating (although there is no indication where it got this information). Also, NHTSA made no mention of any broken equipment it suffered while testing the Model S; another claim made by Tesla. Scroll down for the Model S crash video courtesy of ABC News as well as NHTSA’s brief statement.

Continue reading NHTSA rebuffs ‘best ever’ crash test claim by Tesla [w/video]

NHTSA rebuffs ‘best ever’ crash test claim by Tesla [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tesla Model S scores five stars in NHTSA crash tests [w/video]

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, Videos

Tesla Model S NHTSA crash

Tesla Motors is having a good week. Right after the California-based maker of the Model S electric vehicle reported better than expected earnings and vehicle-production numbers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) let it be known that the Model S received five-star crash-test ratings, according to Automotive News. That means the sedan received the best possible marks for frontal and side-impact crashes, as well as for rollover. The bad news: some Teslas were destroyed in the process. It’s part of a trend. Earlier versions of the Model S also received top crash test scores last year. Before that, the all-electric Roadster also passed crash tests back in 2008.

A refresher on the other good news of the week: Tesla announced Wednesday that it increased sales to 5,150 vehicles for the second quarter, and said it may double production next year. After reporting its first profit in the first quarter, Tesla’s second-quarter gross margin was 22 percent and may reach 25 percent by year-end. Tesla’s second-quarter revenue was $405.1 million and the company narrowed its second-quarter loss to $30.2 million from a $105.5 million loss a year earlier.

You can check out several Model S crash-test videos below, though you might want to cover your eyes.

Continue reading Tesla Model S scores five stars in NHTSA crash tests [w/video]

Tesla Model S scores five stars in NHTSA crash tests [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 10:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch Tony Stewart violently crash a Sprint Car

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Racing

Tony Stewart crash video

Tony Stewart is a racecar driver. There aren’t really any ifs, ands or buts about that. Unlike the sheltered stars of other sports that would rarely be caught dead around the lower levels, Stewart actively seeks out midget and sprint races, often on dirt tracks around the country. Stewart got started in these smaller, local events, and hasn’t stopped racing in them since hitting it big.

His latest outing, at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario, didn’t end quite so well, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports. The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, who currently sits at eleventh in the Sprint Cup standings after a fourth place finish at the Brickyard 400, popped up for the Northern Summer Nationals sprint car race, and was duking it out with the eventual race winner when he ran wide in the middle of the corner. It looks like he picked up some debris, which was enough to send the car tumbling across the top of the track.

Thankfully, the crash looked a lot worse than it actually was, and Stewart walked away. Take a look at the full video below.

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Watch Tony Stewart violently crash a Sprint Car originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Jack Nicklaus’ grandson survives chilling motorcycle crash, caught on camera

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Videos, Motorcycle

Nick O'Leary motorcycle crash - bus dashcam video footage screencap

Nick O’Leary, grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and starting tight end for the Florida State Seminoles, received a rather brutal lesson in the laws of physics. An inattentive Lexus driver pulled out in front of the FSU player while he was traveling along on his motorcycle. The resulting collision ejected O’Leary from his bike, sending him sailing down the road for an estimated 75 to 100 feet, and the whole thing was captured on video.

The motorcycle got the worst of the ordeal, fortunately. After the collision, it was catapulted into the windshield of a stopped bus. No one was injured in the Lexus or on the bus, which captured the footage, although one passenger was very lucky that he didn’t get off the bus a few seconds sooner. O’Leary, meanwhile, walked away, but was later taken to the hospital, treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.

While the accident happened at the beginning of May, the incident is just coming to light thanks to a report from TomahawkNation, which made a public records request. Florida State’s football coach, Jimbo Fisher, told the sports website, “he wrecked that daggone scooter and was banged up for about a month.” Yes, this is exactly the statement we’d expect from a southern-fried ball coach named Jimbo. Take a look at the full video below.

Continue reading Jack Nicklaus’ grandson survives chilling motorcycle crash, caught on camera

Jack Nicklaus’ grandson survives chilling motorcycle crash, caught on camera originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Safety, Technology, Videos, Chevrolet

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is officially a safe car, earning a five-star safety score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

GM General Director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness, Gay Kent, says that the 2014 Impala was “designed to provide excellent crash safety,” and there’s a long list of safety features to back up that statement, some of which are firsts for Chevrolet. Only a few years ago luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, were pioneers of radar-based safety technologies. Now the technology has trickled down to more affordable cars, such as the 2014 Impala, which also features traffic-sensing radar (a first for a Chevrolet), adaptive cruise control that adjusts vehicle speed and can stop it in gridlock traffic, crash-imminent braking, collision alerts and lane departure warning. The car also has a rear-mounted video camera paired with an ultrasonic system to help with parking, 10 airbags and the list goes on.

Of course, driver aides such as traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes come standard on the Impala, too, as does OnStar, GM’s GPS-based service that will send an emergency call for help if it senses the vehicle was in a crash.

Scroll down to read the press release about the full range of safety features that earned it a five-star crash rating, and be sure to check out the video of the crash test below.

Continue reading 2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video]

2014 Chevy Impala nets five-star crash rating from NHTSA [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 19:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Suzuki

Motorcycle land-speed record holder Bill Warner died yesterday after crashing during an attempt at setting another record. The 44-year-old was clocked at 285 miles per hour on the runway of a former air base in northern Maine, before he lost control of his modified Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle and veered off the runway.

It is not known what speed he was traveling when things started to go wrong and unclear what caused the crash, which happened shortly before 10:00 AM. Warner’s crew suspect there were mechanical difficulties on his last run, in addition to a slight breeze, according to the video news report. Warner was conscious and able to speak after the crash but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. The event and runway were closed for the rest of the day as police investigated the incident.

Warner was participating in “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base in an attempt to reach 300 mph in one mile. Warner’s best land-speed record, set in 2011, was 311.945 mph in 1.5 miles on the same runway, according to the Loring Timing Association, a record that still stands today for open-cockpit motorcycles. After that run, Warner said the scariest part was stopping the bike before the end of the runway. Be sure to check out the video news report after the jump.

Continue reading Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Europe, Videos, Racing

Killed Myself when I was Young

Killed Myself When I Was Young – Click above to view videos after the jump

This compilation of racing crashes in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s is a jarring reminder of when auto racing really was a life-or-death venture. Put simply, if you drove a race car during this period, you were as likely to be killed as you were to retire.

Thanks to ever-increasing speeds and no regard for driver and spectator safety, it was common for races to turn deadly. Because of the sacrifices these drivers made, racers, teams and sanctioning bodies have since come together to make racing safer than ever.

If “Killed Myself When I Was Young” interests you, check out the hour-long YouTube video “Grand Prix: The Killer Years,” detailing the fight for even basic safety measures in Formula 1. Be advised that neither video is for the faint of heart; both are embedded after the jump.

Continue reading Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come

Vintage crash compilation shows how far racing has come originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 May 2011 20:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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