• CrasherCarl Posted: 8/8/2009 7:29am PDT

    I began doing this kind of "bumper testing" years ago for Consumers Union. Then we hit head-on at 5 mph, and corners at 3 mph. The question is always simple. Is the damage going to cost more to repair than the incremental increase in new-car price for a zero-damage design. Also, what benefit (if any) would owners see in reduction of insurance premiums?
    Originally, the idea was that if the car was not functionally damaged, it was OK. That is, if the head lights remained aligned, the plumbing did not leak, and the bumper(s) could take another hit later on, we should be satisfied.
    Remember that there was a day when Detroit cars had the fuel filler hidden behind the rear license plate. Its hard to imagine how the bean counters sold that idea to the engineers as a major cost savings idea. I was then a design engineer and I complained - and was told to shut up.