Archive for August, 2010

Every year automobiles become more technology advanced. We would logically think that the more advanced the technology the safer the vehicle. Not so so, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Instead the IIHS discovered that the latest generation of frontal airbags do not protect belted drivers as well as your predecessors. Surprisingly they found that belted drivers fare better in vehicles that do not meet the latest airbag safety standards.

The change? Newer airbags have been designed to deploy with less force. After numerous deaths and injuries to children and small adults in the 90s airbag design had to change. Now airbags deploy more slowly and often base speed on sensors judging driver and passenger size.

Summary of Findings – Newer Advanced Airbags
  • 38% lower death rate for unbelted male drivers
  • 21% higher risk of death for belted male drivers
It’s important to note that test driving speeds have increased from 30 to 35 mph. Researches were unsure if results were due to stronger deployment for higher speeds or the sensory range for ‘out-of-position’ drivers.

Find the entire study here – IIHS Research

Last January a big survey was released about 2010 Car Brand Perception. Chevrolet, Ford, and Subaru saw 30-point increase in overall perception scores, while Toyota held on to the number one spot. The survey was comprised of consumer’s brand perceptions based seven categories: Safety, quality, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation, and environmentally friendly/green.

The scores did not reflect true performance or quality of each brand’s vehicles, but consumers opinion instead. There is an important lesson to be learned from this list – your perceptions of vehicle brands often do not reflect reality. Research multiple vehicles before you buy, compare actual performance, pricing, and reliability ratings.

10 Best Perceived Brands

Brand – Score
Toyota – 196
Ford – 141
Honda – 135
Chevrolet – 124
Volvo – 92
Mercedes-Benz – 92
BMW – 90
Cadillac – 87
Subaru – 81
Lexus – 80


10 Worst Perceived Brands
Brand – Score
Hummer – 11
Saab – 13
Mercury – 13
Mazda – 13
Suzuki – 19
Infiniti – 19
Jeep – 22
Lincoln – 26
Kia – 27
Mitsubishi – 28

Now that six months have passed, do you agree or disagree with the survey results?