Small Cars In Minor Collisions Prove Costly To Repair

Those fuel efficient, environmentally responsible small model cars that are becoming increasingly popular could be a money pit when it comes to repairs following a minor collision.

The United States-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its findings from a series of crash tests it conducted to assess how well the bumpers of small cars will protect  against  damage in low-speed collisions.

The IIHS tested 20 models of small-sized cars and found most incurred more damage than they should have and the cost to repair some of the vehicles rung in at as much as one third of the vehicle’s total price tag.

The worst performers were the Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Rabbit, all three which incurred from $1,000 to almost $5,000 in damages in collisions in which the vehicles were traveling just six miles per hour.

The Elantra, which scored the worst of all, incurred $4,954 in damages in a full-front bumper crash test, the IIHS found. That’s 33 per cent of the total value of $14,800 paid for the 2007.

In the full front-bumper crash test, the Ford Focus performed the best, incurring $588 in damage.

“That’s a huge range in performance,” IIHS Senior Vice President Joe Nolan says. “We were a little surprised that there was such a disparity between the results for the Ford Focus compared to some of its peers — which were really bad.”

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