Los Angeles, California (PressExposure) September 26, 2007 -- The new crash tests conducted were designed in order to demonstrate what would ensue if a sport utility vehicle or SUV or truck happens to hit the sedan's side. The speed in the crash tests was set at 31 mph, the usual speed in instances of severe car crashes.
The tests were instigated after survey of roadway accidents on 2005 in the country turned up with figures of 9,000 people being killed due to side-impact crashes. This shows that the side-impact crashes are the most frequent type of crash with fatal implications. Frontal crashes come only second among those crashes with fatalities.
According to a news release, President Adrian Lund of the institute said that the "growing sales of SUVs and pickups have exacerbated height mismatches among passenger vehicles, thereby increasing the risks to occupants of many vehicles struck in the side."
All of the six sedans were outfitted with the regular side air bags. In the BMW 5 Series, the air bags were attached for the purpose of protecting the passenger's head. However, there are separate air bags, too designed to give protection for the chest and abdomen, which performed badly, according to the institute.
Thomas Plucinsky, spokesperson for BMW said that the institute's crash tests indicated that the 5 Series possesses a tough body structure. However, the dummy put in the car during the test was injured after it was hit by the car's armrest.
According to Plucinsky, the BMW runs about 12 crash tests on all of its cars before sending them out in the market. They also perform computer mock-ups of crashes. Furthermore, Plucinsky stressed that, "the issue is that depending on the location of seat, the location of dummy, the location of the sled, the results could change. This was one test on one day on one car."
In the group of luxury sedans subjected to the crash test, the Kia Amanti was among the lowest priced. It has an initial price of abut $25,500. Still, as far as the crash test results were concerned, it greater protection is to be had with it, as compared to other more pricey entries.
The BMW 5 Series has initial cost of $43, 500 and the Mercedes E-Class, on the other hand, start with $50, 550, based from the Edmunds.com, an automotive research website.