Ford Escape earns worst safety rating

Ford Escape earns worst safety rating

Ford Escape earns worst safety rating

In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest crash tests of small SUVs five models performed well, but two did not.

The Mitsubishi Outlander was also rated good for protecting occupants in the crashes involving part of the front and passenger sides of the vehicles.

In findings released Wednesday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave a "good" rating to the BMW X1; Chevrolet Equinox and its twin, the GMC Terrain; Jeep Compass; and Mitsubishi Outlander.

The side airbags didn't trigger on the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, either, the key reason that ute received a "Marginal" rating which, in IIHS terms, means it failed the test.

"In the Outlander Sport and Escape, the side curtain airbags did not deploy", said Mueller. IIHS said the Escape struggled in the test, as the passenger-side upper door-hinge pillar intruded 10 inches, compared with 5 inches on the driver side, and the door sill intruded 4 inches laterally into the cabin.

"Most people focus on the driver and think you're getting the same level of protection on the passenger side", Mueller said.

Mueller said that most automakers are reacting to the new test by making safety improvements when a model is scheduled to be refreshed or redesigned.

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The Ford Escape received the worst score yet among small SUVs in the IIHS small overlap test. The airbag didn't deploy in the crash. "Side curtain airbags should deploy in crashes like this".

Both small overlap tests involve crashing a vehicle crash into a barrier at 40 miles per hour with just 25 percent of the front end overlapping the barrier, simulating a crash in which the front corner of a vehicle takes the impact. The idea behind the test is to mimic what might happen if the vehicle was in a collision with an object of the vehicle on just the passenger side.

This new type of test was just introduced in 2017 and predicts what would happen if the corner of a vehicle collides with an object such as a tree or another auto.

The passenger-side test is virtually identical to the driver-side one, except the vehicle overlaps the barrier on the right side.

To qualify for IIHS' 2018 Top Safety Pick+ designation, a vehicle must earn a "good" or "acceptable" passenger-side rating, and a "good" headlight rating. If they follow IIHS protocol, manufacturers can submit their data and video to IIHS engineers, who evaluate it to assign a rating.

The tests conducted by the independent non-profit organization.

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