US:SUVs, pickups fail whiplash test
SUVs, pickups fail whiplash test
Only 6 of 59 pickups and SUVs provide 'good' protection; changes to Ford Ranger criticized.
Jeff Plungis / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- The vast majority of SUVs and pickup trucks will fail to protect passengers against neck injuries in rear-end collisions, according to a new study by a prominent safety group.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, based in Arlington, Va., tested 59 SUVs and pickups on the market. Only six models -- all SUVs -- earned a "good" rating, meaning the chances of a whiplash-type neck injury were remote.
"Manufacturer advertising often emphasizes the rugged image of SUVs and pickups," said Adrian Lund, president of the insurance institute. "However, the institute's evaluations show seats and head restraints in many models wouldn't do a good job of protecting most people in a typical rear impact in everyday commuter traffic."
Among vehicles with the worst safety ratings are some of the best-selling models, including the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner and Chevrolet Silverado. Some seats in the Ford F-150 and Dodge Dakota also tested poorly.
The six trucks with the best head restraints include the Ford Freestyle, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Land Rover LR3, Subaru Forester and Volvo XC90.
The institute singled out Ford for changing one head restraint for the worse. Lund said for the 2006 model of the Ranger pickup Ford shortened the head restraint by three inches, lowering its rating from "good" in 2005 to "poor" this year.
In a statement, Ford said the restraint had been lowered following consumer complaints about a lack of visibility.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....