Date registered: Jun 2012
Vehicle: 98 S70 Volvo (sold), 93 300E 2.8 (sold), 1998 E300DT
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Well, I have posted this to friends in a debate on this issue of the NIHS crash tests.
1. The specs may not have been given to all mfgrs at the same time (no one is telling).
2. The NIHS is NOT an objective group, since it is based in Detroit. There may be some hidden agenda here. (Note: I said "may".) Since the US mfgrs are based in the Detroit area, as well as a lot of Asian mfgrs who have located many plants here in the US, they may have a reason for allowing some mfgrs to pass the tests, while other, higher-end mfgrs like M-B, BMW & VW (they are all selling more cars in their classes than ever before, which is a threat to Asian and US mfgrs).
3. The ins cos here in the US see more, safer cars being built in the luxo market and economy market, coming from Europe, especially Germany, so the insurance rates will be lower. These ins. cos need to increase profits, so they devise a new standard which then rates these cars which were previously 4 & 5 star cars, to weed-out the ones they want to have higher insurance premiums on.
These points are only guesses from someone who sees the cars now being rated lower than the Euro tests, the mfgr tests and prior NIHS and US Fed tests, as being quite silly. I will continue to buy Benzes and VWs and and even though I am not a fan of BMW, I don't believe their cars are unsafe and worthy of a 2 star rating.
The new test is not one which sees any real-world validity. I cannot see how running into a blade in a corner actually proves anything. I would imagine that over 98% of all crashes occur at much less than 40mph and are frontal or from backing up into something which the driver never noticed. I would never expect to survive any crash in any car going 90+mph. I believe that roll-overs are survivable, but only to a point. Any high speed or incident which has a high level of g-force can rip apart arteries and blood vessels and make the brain mush in the cranial cavity. Only if the cars are designed like F1 tubs with an incredible amount of absorption of the impact (we're talking very high dollars to replicate this in any massed-produced road car) can the occupant survive high-speed crashes.
In the end, M-B is still a leader, if not THE leader, in complete road car safety.
If I could buy a newer Euro C-class with the 2.2L Bluetec diesel and manual trans for the US, at a decent price, including conversion and any US import taxes, I would do it in a heartbeat. We will likely be buying a PO E350 Bluetec next year or so, likely a 2011 model. And, whatever we buy, I will know it will be the safest and most efficient and one of the overall greenest cars in the world. (The M-B plants are some of the greenest in the world, which offsets the economy numbers over the life of the car and could even be better in that rating, than a Prius. If I wanted a Hybrid, I'd buy a Fusion Hybrid, but hybrids have green issues with their batteries and I just don't trust those voltages sitting inches away from the passengers. Now, Hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars? That's a different story altogether and I would like to see the industry move to that level ASAP.)
Keep the shiny side up...