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Old 03-24-2009, 12:35 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default IIHS introduces roof-strength rating, VW, Honda, Subaru, Jeep rate good



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The Institute for Highway Safety has launched a new roof strength rating systems to help customers evaluate a new SUV before making a purchase if they are concerned with rollover crashes. Out of the 12 small SUVs that were tested, only 4 earned a top rating of good including the Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, Honda Element and the Jeep Patriot.

So what exactly does a rating of good mean? According to the IIHS “vehicles rated good must have roofs that are more than twice as strong as minimum federal safety standards require.” The roof strength test is conducted by having a metal plate being pushed against 1 side of a roof at a constant speed. To earn a good rating, the roof must withstand a force of 4 times the vehicle’s weight before reaching 5 inches of crush - known as strength-to-weight ratio. To receive an acceptable rating a vehicle must get a value of 3.25. A marginal rating value is 2.5 and anything lower than that is poor.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Starting in 2010, roof ratings will become a criteria to with the Institutes’s Top Safety Pick award. A good roof strength rating is necessary to qualify.

ROOF STRENGTH Volkswagen Tiguan
Subaru Forester
Honda Element Jeep Patriot
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent
Toyota RAV4
Nissan Rogue
Mitsubishi Outlander
Honda CR-V
Ford Escape,Mazda Tribute,Mercury Mariner =M
Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson,p=poor
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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Default Will it bend? IIHS reveals first round of tests under new roof rating system




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Crash testing brand-new vehicles may rub the Puritan ethic the wrong way, but it's the only sure way to find out just what a car is capable of in terms of protecting its occupants. Today a new round of testing by the IIHS reveals how the first batch of small SUVs holds up under new roof-strength standards.

Previous tests adhered to the NHTSA's roof-strength standard of 2.5 times the vehicle's weight. Now the IIHS has boosted its standard for selection as a Top Safety Pick to a full four times the vehicle's weight with a maximum crush of 5 inches.

The new results show only 4 of the 12 small SUVs tested in this round yielded top ratings: the Subaru Forester, Honda Element, Jeep Patriot and Volkswagen Tiguan. Second-tier SUVs included the Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander and Suzuki Grand Vitara. Stepping down a notch further, the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape rated 'marginal' on the IIHS' four-level scale, while the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson rated 'poor' - perhaps explaining where the Korean carmakers is saving some of its money.

The 'Good', 'Acceptable', 'Marginal' and 'Poor' ratings correspond to the roof supporting at least 4, greater than 3.25, greater than 2.5, and less than 2.5 times the vehicle's weight respectively.

It's worth mentioning, however, that the IIHS' new standard isn't official. In fact, the NHTSA has been famously slow in adopting new roof crush standards. Part of the reason is the projected expense to the industry - right now is not the time to throw another burden on the struggling carmakers - but part of the reason is also that even substantial improvements in roof strength will have little actual effect on the number of rollover-related deaths each year.

A consumer advocate safety group called Public Citizen is even calling for a complete revamp of the way the tests are done - rather than a static test like that done by the NHTSA and IIHS, they would have a 'dynamic' test - one more closely simulating an actual rollover.

The IIHS on the other hand thinks that its decision to jump up from the 2.5 times vehicle weight ratio required by the NHTSA to the new 4 times vehicle weigh factor would reduce casualties by 50%. That's a strong claim, and the new test is one that the IIHS expects to significantly reduce the numper of Top Safety Picks it issues each year. Currently 73 cars bear that honor.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Great to see this implimented.

I have been in two rollovers in my life, and the STi sustained barely any collapse from an 80mph roll vs. the massive collapse of a blazer at a <20mph roll into snow.

Nick
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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and now manufacturers will work towards achieving a high roof-strength rating.. resulting in even heavier cars...
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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^^^
With higher centers of gravity... making sure some day they actually get to use it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ShadowVlican View Post
and now manufacturers will work towards achieving a high roof-strength rating.. resulting in even heavier cars...
or maybe instead of just adding more metal.... they could use better materials and better engineering in their roof structure...

More material is not always the best answer in safety.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure this is the first time that a Jeep Patriot has ever been mentioned in the same breath as the Tiguan, Forester, and Element.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
A consumer advocate safety group called Public Citizen is even calling for a complete revamp of the way the tests are done - rather than a static test like that done by the NHTSA and IIHS, they would have a 'dynamic' test - one more closely simulating an actual rollover.
Have to agree; I'm not sure how well a static crush test correlates to results in an actual rollover.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:13 PM   #10
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It would be nice if there was some way to lower the CG instead so they're less likely to roll. It's definitely a problem; this winter I think I saw only 1 SUV that went off the highway that wasn't on it's side, roof, or had obvious signs of rollover.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Speed View Post
^^^
With higher centers of gravity... making sure some day they actually get to use it.
Yeah.. like Subarus.. oh.. wait.

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Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
or maybe instead of just adding more metal.... they could use better materials and better engineering in their roof structure...

More material is not always the best answer in safety.
Exactly.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ghosthound View Post
or maybe instead of just adding more metal.... tehy could use better materials and better engineering in tehir roof structure...

More material is not always teh best answer in safety.
Nope, but unfortunately it's often the cheapest. The only saving grace here is that heavier roofs would increase chance of roll-over, so they will probably be forced to perform through better engineering thankfully...
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:29 PM   #13
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Nope, but unfortunately it's often teh cheapest. teh only saving grace here is that heavier roofs would increase chance of roll-over, so tehy will probably be forced to perform through better engineering thankfully...
Roll cages + CF roof. Done
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