• fb_1224815454 avatar Jim Posted: 10/17/2011 10:26am PDT

    Interesting list but more so for what's missing. Only two German marques, BMW and VW, not including the biggest seller, the Jetta. And I don't understand the logic by double testing, e.g., Chrysler 300 & Dodge Charger; Toyota Camry & Lexus ES 350. But, no Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar...

  • fb_1491948054 avatar Kurt Posted: 10/18/2011 5:33am PDT

    @Jim, I agree with your comments. I'm sure some vehicles have earlier test results, but these were tested to different standards. I know the government is working with a limited budget these days, but I can't make sense of the list either.

  • fb_1510606196 avatar Carl Posted: 10/17/2011 10:51am PDT

    Great news.Now that the vehicles are equipped with so many airbags and adequate seat structures, it appears that the focus will be more devoted to crash avoidance. Many rollovers (really bad events) are triggered by a last minute steering wheel yank in an attempt to avoid running into something. Lane departure warning will help avoid the sudden over reaction to a nudge from either side.

  • fb_1491948054 avatar Kurt Posted: 10/18/2011 5:32am PDT

    @Carl, you illustrate perfectly the need for better driver training (and enforcement of distracted driving laws) in this country. We're not taught how to drive a car; instead, we're taught how to operate a motor vehicle, and the two are distinctly different.

    Driving is a deceptively easy task until something goes wrong. Then, in a fraction of a second, it becomes an incredibly delicate and complex dance with the laws of physics, and most drivers have no idea how violent a high-speed accident can be.

  • Cfthelin avatar Cfthelin Posted: 10/18/2011 10:33am PDT

    Kurt. I agree mostly. Consider this:

    At General Motors in the 1960s we had a test where you drove into a narrow lane outlined in traffic cones, with a speed measurement device. Sixty feet ahead were three traffic lights overhead showing a yellow ball. One straight ahead, one left and one right lane. As you exited the lane two lights turned red and one green. That measured three things – driver skill and reaction time and vehicle controllability.

    In 1970 when I had moved to CAL, GM asked us to validate the emergency Avoidance Maneuver (AM) so that the NHTSA would adopt it for their Safety Car program. We abandoned the three lights and advised only a left swing returning immediately to the original path, simulating avoiding a child

  • Cfthelin avatar Cfthelin Posted: 10/18/2011 10:36am PDT

    darting out from behind a parked car. Vehicle controllability at the limit was the sole criterion. When I moved to Consumers Union, they adopted that test and still use it. It became a standard for the auto industry. We measured maximum successful speed and failure mode – plow, wiggle, or spin. One thing we all learned with “man off the street” (and women) was that everyone will yank the steering wheel to the left sooner or later. What happened in the recovery section is where experience and training mattered. You might be pleased to learn that most people got the hang of it once the surprise* aspect was gone. There are several things that I am proud of. Making the AM test a standard is one big one.

  • Cfthelin avatar Cfthelin Posted: 10/18/2011 10:37am PDT

    *Long story how the test was modified to do that. Braking or acceleration was prohibited.