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  1. #1
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    Ouch, some pricey repairs might be in store for minivan owners after a low-speed fender bender based on minivan bumper test results announced today by the IIHS. The full IIHS press release, video link and .pdf report are at http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr122007.html

    Here's an excerpt:

    IIHS News Release | December 20, 2007

    Minivan bumper test results: Nissan Quest is by far the worst performer


    ARLINGTON, VA — None of 6 minivans, all 2008 models, is designed to resist vehicle damage in many low-speed collisions. The front and rear bumper systems on these minivans allowed $5,000 or more damage in a series of 4 crash tests conducted at 3 and 6 mph. The Nissan Quest was the worst, sustaining damage that cost more than $8,000 to repair. These are the results of recent crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to assess and compare how well vehicle bumper systems resist damage in the kinds of low-speed collisions that frequently occur in commuter traffic and parking lots.

    "These minivans don't have the worst bumpers we've tested, but they still allow way too much damage in minor impacts. It's damage that consumers shouldn't have to pay for or put up with the aggravation of having to get their vehicles repaired," says Institute senior vice president Joe Nolan.

    In the Institute's bumper tests, each vehicle is run into a barrier designed to mimic the design of a car bumper. The steel barrier's plastic absorber and flexible cover simulate cars' energy absorbers and plastic bumper covers. The series of 4 tests includes front and rear full-width impacts at 6 mph and front and rear corner impacts at 3 mph. The bottom of the barrier is 18 inches off the ground in the full-width tests and 16 inches from the ground in the corner impacts. These heights are designed to drive bumper improvements and lead to better protection from damage in a range of real-world crashes.
    Please click on the above link to view the rest of the press release and details of the repair cost breakdown by bumper test for each 2008 minivan. The Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona, Chevrolet Uplander, and Dodge Grand Caravan were the tested models.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

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  3. #2
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    IIHS has been doing these types of tests for years now and making the same warnings to the automakers... when are the automakers going to wake up and start making changes? it is possible.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    Remember when the VW Beetle bumper had an $8 repair bill and the Mazda Protege was like $3000 (I think that was the one, the VW I definitely remember, lol, it was for like, rubbing compound and wax). It CAN be done...
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  5. #4
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    i just remember watching the tests on dateline NBC years ago... and there being a big disparity between different cars. i do remember the MINI doing really bad.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    I don't feel up to sifting through NHTSA's site or other automotive safety standards sites today for the definitive answer, but don't passenger cars have different bumper standards than vehicles classified as light trucks, which is how minivans are typically classified? One of those regulatory loopholes, perhaps, that IIHS and consumer advocacy groups can petition and influence NHTSA and automakers to remedy.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  7. #6
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    i was thinking about that too. i'm not sure how most minivans are officially classified. but yes, you are right in that passenger cars are required to have "5 mph bumpers", which in theory at least should not sustain any damage hitting a barrier at 2.5 mph (the equivalent to hitting another car at 5 mph). i believe that this standard does not apply to non-passenger cars.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  8. #7
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    Revisiting this thread for a moment after a quick Google search, which found this NHTSA Q&A/FAQ link on vehicle bumpers:
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/proble...per/Index.html

    Excerpt:

    1) What is a bumper?

    A bumper is a shield made of steel, aluminum, rubber, or plastic that is mounted on the front and rear of a passenger car. When a low speed collision occurs, the bumper system absorbs the shock to prevent or reduce damage to the car. Some bumpers use energy absorbers or brackets and others are made with a foam cushioning material.

    2) What is the purpose of bumpers?

    The car bumper is designed to prevent or reduce physical damage to the front and rear ends of passenger motor vehicles in low-speed collisions. Automobile bumpers are not typically designed to be structural components that would significantly contribute to vehicle crashworthiness or occupant protection during front or rear collisions. It is not a safety feature intended to prevent or mitigate injury severity to occupants in the passenger cars. Bumpers are designed to protect the hood, trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust and cooling system as well as safety related equipment such as parking lights, headlamps and taillights in low speed collisions.

    3) What are the Federal regulations for bumpers?

    49 CFR Part 581, "The bumper standard," prescribes performance requirements for passenger cars in low-speed front and rear collisions. It applies to front and rear bumpers on passenger cars to prevent the damage to the car body and safety related equipment at barrier impact speeds of 2˝ mph across the full width and 1˝ mph on the corners.

    This is equivalent to a 5 mph crash into a parked vehicle of the same weight. The standard requires protection in the region 16 to 20 inches above the road surface, and the manufacturer can provide the protection by any means it wants. For example, some vehicles do not have a solid bumper across the vehicle, but meet the standard by strategically placed bumper guards and corner guards.

    4) Are all vehicle classes required to meet the Federal bumper standard?

    No. The Federal bumper standard does not apply to vehicles other than passenger cars (i.e., sport utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans, or pickups trucks). The agency has chosen not to regulate bumper performance or elevation for these vehicle classes because of the potential compromise to the vehicle utility in operating on loading ramps and off road situations.
    There's more if you click on the NHTSA link above. I only quoted the first part of the NHTSA Q&A because it addresses bumper standards for passenger cars vs. minivans/trucks.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic Mama!'s Avatar
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    I'm really surprised at the sheer amount of $$ for such a low speed impact!
    DD-11, adult belt/ nbb
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  10. #9
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: IIHS 2008 minivan bumper low-speed crash test results

    Same here. It's extra motivation to keep full coverage on my van once it's paid off, that's for certain.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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