Many of the most expensive luxury cars have failed a new crash test sponsored by the Insurance Institute. The new test examines the results of front-corner crashes, one of the most common angles of crashes in two-way traffic.
Most midsize luxury cars — including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class — performed poorly in a new frontal crash test developed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. [snip] Good scores are also frequently touted in car ads. Of the 11 cars tested, only the Acura TL, Volvo S60 and Infiniti G earned good or acceptable ratings from the institute, which is funded by insurers. Four cars — the Acura TSX, BMW 3 Series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC — earned marginal ratings. Four others — the Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 — earned poor ratings. Marginal or poor ratings indicate the cars wouldn’t protect occupants very well in a real-world crash.
The results indicate that airbags are largely ineffective in angled crashes and that seat belts unspooled enough to allow dummies to slam forward into the dashboard and windshield. Mercedes has denounced the study, but Toyota says it will incorporate the new data into future designs.