Back in January, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety debuted some disheartening data from a new crash test on small cars. The test centered on the IIHS' new small-overlap crash, which evaluates how well vehicles protect occupants during accidents involving objects that strike 25 percent of the front bumper at 40 mph. (It's comparable to a vehicle hitting a tree or a light pole or the edge of an oncoming car.)
While some vehicles fared moderately well, the Honda Fit most did not, earning a score of "poor". And so, according to the New York Times, Honda has created an upgrade for the 2015 Fit -- and it's even installing it on vehicles that have left the showroom.
MUST READ: 5 Car Brands That Customers Don't Buy Twice
The fix focuses on the Fit's front bumper. When the 2015 model went through the test, the steel bumper beam that sits behind the plastic bumper cover separated, causing extensive damage to the driver's side of the passenger compartment. Honda strengthened the welds on the beam and put the car through another IIHS test, where it finally earned an "Acceptable" rating. (Because the small-overlap crash test is new, cars can earn an "Acceptable" on it and still nab a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the IIHS.)
That's great news for Honda, which immediately upgraded its manufacturing standards to incorporate stronger welds on the bumper beam. But even better is the fact that Honda is offering to upgrade 2015 Fits that are already roaming the roads -- and it's doing so free of charge.
This September, Honda plans to notify owners of Fits built before the upgrade was put in place. At that time, owners will be able to take their cars to Honda dealerships, where the the front bumper will be replaced -- a process that could take as little as half an hour.
If you own a 2015 Honda Fit and want to know whether your vehicle is eligible for the upgrade, you can call Honda directly at 800-999-1009, and choose option #4.