The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has retooled its front-end collision safety tests to demonstrate the need for more safety features, even on some of the safest cars on the road.
The new crash tests were designed because the insurance Institute was baffled by a question:
Why do so many people still die in frontal crashes despite the fact the vehicles are performing well in safety tests?
The Institute modified its tests to address what they say is happening in about a fourth of these head-on collisions.
Instead of full frontal-impact, only a corner of the car slammed into a structure.
What they found was greater risk of serious injury to those inside.
"When these crashes begin, there is some strong interaction that helps absorb the energy of the crash before the forces reach the occupants' compartment," explains the Institute's Adrian Lund.
11 midsize cars were tested.
Only three, the Acura TL, Volvo S60 and Infiniti G earned a "Good" or "Acceptable" rating.
The Lexus IS and ES models, along with Audi's A4 and Mercedes C-class all were rated poor.
An Audi spokesman said the A4 has demonstrated an excellent overall safety record, while the spokesman for Mercedes disagreed with the results and said the "small overlap frontal crash test" replicates an unusually severe and correspondingly uncommon accident scenario.
Read more at the Insurance institute for highway safety website:
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.