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Rollover Study Shows Roof Strength Weak

Posted on September 13, 2008

Three auto safety groups wanted to test the strength of vehicle roofs in actually auto rollovers. So they strapped crash-test dummies into the vehicles in seat belts. The vehicles had received passing grades under NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) standards.

What they found was that six vehicles that passed the federal government’;s strength standard fared miserably in real-world conditions.

What Public Citizen, The Center for Auto Safety and the Center for Injury Research found was that the dummies suffered traumatic injuries that would have been fatal or paralyzing if humans had been in their place.

The cars tested include the 2007 Pontiac G6, the 2006 Chrysler 300, the 2007 Toyota Camry, the 2007 Volkswagen Jetta, the 2006 Honda Ridgeline and the 2006 Hyundai Sonata. The vehicles were donated by State Farm Insurance and are the same ones that performed well in NHTSA’;s tests.

The real-life tests were conducted using a Jordan Rollover System, which is a device that’;s designed to test the rollover occupant protection performance of a car.

The groups conclude that NHTSA needs to test using a tougher standard, a dynamic test for cars and trucks rather than testing stationary and upright vehicle roofs. That’;s the only way to find out what happens to actual passengers inside during a rollover.

“NHTSA – complicit with Detroit auto companies – has wasted years considering a   static standard it estimates will save only 13 to 44 lives out of 10,800 rollover deaths annually,” Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook said in a statement.

NHTSA has plans to upgrade its standards for roofs from 1.5 times the vehicles weight to 2.5 times the vehicle weight as a standard the roof should resist crushing.

A final rule will be released by October 1. It also includes language that protects manufacturers who comply with the safety standard from being held liable for occupant injuries in that vehicle, essentially pre-empting consumer injury lawsuits.

“It reveals that NHTSA is more concerned with protecting auto companies than the families who needlessly lose loved ones each day,”Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen said.

NHTSA issued its standard for roof safety which is basically the same today, back in December 1971 as this chronology uncovers.

NHTSA issued its standard for roof safety which is basically the same today, back in December 1971 as this chronology uncovers. And YouTube videos are available on the crash tests for the public to see.

At Farah & Farah, we have seen firsthand the devastating consequences auto accidents can have on innocent victims and their families. From sky high medical bills to lost wages and crippling injuries – it is inconceivable that Detroit would resist efforts to make autos safer.