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IIHS small overlap test on Explorer

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by MyCorvette, April 8, 2014.

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    1. MyCorvette

      MyCorvette New Member

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      Our Explorer got a "marginal" rating in the IIHS small overlap test. The same as the Grand Cherokee and also the 4Runner.

      [​IMG]

      Given the weight of the Explorer I think its result is still quite impressive. Here is an interesting review of this IIHS testing on 9 SUVs, clearly the 2 GM ones are playing tricks to get a good rating.
       
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    3. Ryan327

      Ryan327 Active Member

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      The small overlap test is very demanding, if you watch the videos it looks like GM's design allowed the vehicle to maintain more structure and glance off more vs how the ford totally crushed and partially ripped the door off. Pretty scary though that it's only 40 mph. I drive on route 1 here in Virginia which is 4 to 6 lanes with no median and cars passing each other within inches at a combined speed of 80-100+ mph. Real eyeopener on being even more defensive while driving!
       
    4. txaggie

      txaggie Elite Explorer

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      Wow!! :eek: :eek:

      I think the large gap to the door really hurts in this type of crash. There is too much room between the curtain bag and the steering wheel bag and it allows the dummy to slide between them.

      Here is the video of the Explorer

      IIHS crash video
       
    5. walterhudson

      walterhudson Member

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      Is this test done without the seat belt on?
       
    6. LeFurg

      LeFurg Member

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      Not only that, but you know those concrete "K" rails (those white concrete barriers separating open lanes from lanes under construction on highways and freeways)? Impacting the end of one of those would result in a collision like this.

      http://midstateconcrete.com/product/128/20'-K-Rails-(Caltrans-Standard).html

      I think the IIHS surprised most of the automakers with this test. Going back to its beginning, the only company to receive "good" on the small offset frontals on all of their tested vehicles was Volvo.

      It doesn't surprise me. Most new vehicles (2010 +) don't perform the best in these new small offset frontals... at least, not yet - wait 1-2 redesigns. The Fusion is already doing better.

      For the explorer, this test just shows where it's at now. Based on all the other very positive crash ratings for the explorer, I don't see this as a big deal. For the 2015 MY, it may or may not be improve upon, given it's somewhat late in the current design, I don't know. If Ford updates, refreshes or redesigns the Explorer for 2016, expect a substantial improvement.
       
    7. jrmexplorer

      jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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      I'm really glad the IIHS is doing these tests, as I think they will lead to safer cars.

      That being said, the Explorer's marginal rating doesn't worry me for several reasons:

      1.) It's marginal - not poor, but marginal. The injuries to the dummy didn't appear to be horrible. Yes, the legs were probably broken, but the dummy looks like s/he would have survived.
      2.) They are running the Explorer into a large, immovable steel post. While I don't have a PHD in physics, I would expect that a collision with another vehicle would be different. The Explorer's mass for one would mean that most other cars would bear more of the brunt of the force. Second, in a lot of collisions the cars will spin, deflect, or move in ways that aren't accounted for which dissipates the energy.
      3.) While some expressed concern that this is a 40mph collision with a fixed barrier and that a collision with a car going 40mph the other way would be worse, it doesn't worry me. See this article here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/10/01/mythbusters-on-head-on-collisions/ - Essentially, yes, the force is equivalent to an 80mph collision - but the crash forces are distributed among TWO cars. Thus it ends up looking very much like a 40mph collision.
       
    8. Ryan327

      Ryan327 Active Member

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      Volvo actually had been the first to design their cars specifically to pass this test and it shows, others are really just getting on. Poor results in this test is not a surprise to me. My Audi which also has very good overall ratings did poor in this test. Unless the entire front end and pillars are reinforced the results will be the same for all manufacturers.
       
    9. txaggie

      txaggie Elite Explorer

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      Interesting that it also seems that when the results are poorer, it has to do with the front wheel being driven backwards into the passenger compartment. Look at the video for the Chevy Equinox, the front absorbs the impact and shields the front wheel from stopping the motion of the car. Even in that type of impact, it only creates a glancing blow.

      Equinox small offset crash
       
    10. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    11. cwescapexlt4x4

      cwescapexlt4x4 Explorin' the Desert SW Elite Explorer

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      in all fairness the 2 that "failed" are aging platforms that are due (at least the Explorer) for replacement/redesign real soon that would include upgraded safety features/requirements..
       
    12. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This is no different then the Escape with the same results. With the new Eacape and Explorer within the year, Ford was not going to spend a ton of mo e reengineering them to pass with better results for 1 year.

      The vehicles of today are far safer then 10+ years ago.
       
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    13. thefranchise713

      thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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      Hey, I'm going to invent a crash test. Let's drop every car from the top of the Empire State Building.

      Oh. Every single car fails. Imagine that!

      Failure is relative.

      If you want an opinion on Explorer safety, just go look at the wrecked vehicles on IAAI. You'll see how well the safety cage was maintained in the vast majority of specimens.
       
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    14. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      This has nothing to do with the age of the platform. It has everything to do with whether the manufacturer is really interested in safety or just designing their vehicle to pass whatever "tests" are in place at the time. Volvo seems to be a rare exception when it comes to safety.

      Frontal crash tests
      Driver-side small overlap frontal test
      To help encourage further improvements in frontal crash protection, the Institute in 2012 introduced a driver-side small overlap frontal crash test. The test is designed to replicate what happens when the front left corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. This crash test is a challenge for some safety belt and airbag designs because occupants move both forward and toward the side of the vehicle.
      [i/i]

      Passenger-side small overlap frontal test
      Manufacturers have responded to the driver-side small overlap test by improving vehicle structures and airbags, and most vehicles now earn good ratings. However, IIHS research tests demonstrated that those improvements didn't always carry over to the passenger side. Discrepancies between the left and right sides of vehicles spurred us to develop a passenger-side small overlap test and begin issuing passenger-side ratings in 2017.


      Some of you may recall the F150 crash test discrepancy between crew and extended cabs:
      Ford F-150 gets mixed IIHS crash test results

      Ford added structural elements to the crew cab's front frame to earn a good rating in the small overlap test, but didn't do the same for the extended cab. That shortchanges buyers who might pick the extended cab thinking it offers the same protection in serious frontal crashes."

      Similar for the Escape.
      Ford Escape rated 'poor' in IIHS crash tests of 7 smaller SUVs

      Starting with 2017 Escape models, Ford reinforced the structure on the driver side to improve occupant protection in a small overlap front crash, but didn't make the same change to the passenger side, researchers noted. Escape earned an acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap front test.

      These disparities are why the researchers started to rate the passenger side, Mueller said. "Manufacturers shouldn't shortchange protection for front-seat passengers."
       
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    15. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ^^^ you have got to be kidding me. The same IIHS gave the 2013 Explorer an "IIHS top pick award for safety" and now that they have this new test that came out with, now they are writing an article that is basically saying it is a death trap and to look elsewhere.... nothing has changed in the Explorer from from 2013 to now except cosmetics.

      If that doesnt tell you that these independent tests are junk, I dont know what does. Anybody can come up with something new and anybody can design a test to make a vehicle fail.

      Give me a break..

      Ford is not going to redesign something for 1 more model year left before the new one next summer
       
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    16. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      You guys are a hoot. The IIHS tests are junk? Oh TEH Noes!!! Someone disparaged the Explorer, we can't have that...

      I didn't see any IIHS article that said the Explorer was now a death trap. Here's the article on the IIHS website. Passenger-side tests of midsize SUVs reveal flaws
      Basically says their new test reveals some major flaws and rates the explorer as poor on the passenger offset test that was just conducted. The passenger side test isn't exactly a new test that was just invented either. It's the same as the driver side test that has been around since 2012, just done on the passenger side...

      Here's all the ratings by year.
      2013 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICKs
      As you can see, vehicles are rated each year with the tests/data available at the time. It's the same thing CR does. They may rate something one way and change it later as more info comes to light (re: tesla). In 2013, both the Explorer and Grand Cherokee were TSP because they met the rating criteria at the time.

      Just a note - there is no need to redesign a vehicle to alter it's crash ratings. Ford F150 crew cabs had an additional brace/bracker/whatever that the extended cabs did not have, which apparently allowed the crew cab to rate higher on passenger crash tests. "The Ford Explorer was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Beginning with 2013 models, the seat belts and airbags were modified "(presumably to improve safety/crash ratings). The new Explorer has been in production since 2011 - that's 8 years that Ford had to consider additional minor changes perhaps to the seat/seat belt/airbag/etc... or the addition of a brace/bracket/whatever to improve passenger side crash ratings (and possibly increase the driver side rating from marginal to at least acceptable).
       
      Last edited: June 14, 2018
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    17. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      When you have someone go from awarding it a Top Safety Pick to then say "
      Somebody who is considering buying a brand new SUV, I would recommend that they choose something other than the Grand Cherokee or the Explorer," said Dave Zuby, senior vice president of vehicle research at Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "There are clearly better choices out there especially if you are concerned about the safety of your family."

      By saying that line makes it sound like it is a death trap. If I'm concerned for my safety, I better not by an Explorer.. Right..

      As I said, any vehicle today is far safer then cars of 20 years ago and I would have no problem driving any of them in the last 10 years with my family in it.

      And the fact that they don't recommend a vehicle they have awards to now because of this one test is ridiculous.



       
    18. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      I still haven't seen an actual quote from IIHS saying the explorer or grand cherokee are "death traps" or that people should not buy them.

      You seem really upset that IIHS gave the 2013 a top safety pick award and now they are saying there are better choices out there. It's not a big deal and it happens. It will continue to happen because of the way the industry operates - mostly doing what little it has to do to check a box. When a new box is added, it takes a while to adjust and then that box too will get checked, until the next box gets added...

      If it makes you feel better, there are obviously a lot of people that don't seem to be especially concerned with safety, judging by the number of explorers and grand cherokees that are sold on a yearly basis. Give it another day or two for something else to take over the news cycle and the world will forget about the explorer and grand cherokee failing the latest crash tests...
       
    19. NEWPORTNJ

      NEWPORTNJ Active Member

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      It seams like Mr. Dave Zuby, was given a dinner or even an envelope $$$ for him to approve of Ford or Jeep. We all know what make the world go round....
       
    20. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      He didn't approve.
       
    21. thefranchise713

      thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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      Respectfully, they're grandstanding. Read the logic of the comment. "There are clearly better choices out there especially if you are concerned about the safety of your family." Tone is key. If you buy one, you clearly don't care about your family, according to IIHS. Is that extreme? Absolutely. I like the concept of the test, I don't like the subtext. It's true that there are vehicles passing this test that can provide an additional safety advantage that the Explorer presently lacks. But struggling on this one specific test hardly makes it unworthy of consideration. It's a shortcoming that has to be evaluated against the merits of the car and your own risk appetite, balanced with the likelihood of suffering this one specific crash scenario.

      Again, if you want real crash tests, go look at IAAI. Insurance auction site. Look for wrecked Explorers 2011-2018. You'll find that the VAST majority of them have intact passenger cabins. I appreciate lab testing, but I also like real world data of the crashes actually occurring.

      Either way, this platform is going to die and go away. Ford knows they have to address this, and they are.
       
    22. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      The Explorer was marginal on the driver side offset and poor on the passenger side offset - it didn't just struggle on one specific test. No one is saying the tests represent true real world results, but they roughly translate and give an idea of how things may go. Crashed vehicles don't tell you anything either about what happened to the occupants in the crash, I've seen more than a few vehicles that didn't look that bad, yet people died. I've also seen a few vehicles that looked horrific and everyone survived. The real key is what injuries the occupants sustained and whether they are truly worse in the real world in some vehicles moreso than others. For that, I am not currently aware of anyone tracking and reporting that data to the public.

      IIHS tests aren't the end all, be all of anything. With the sales of the Explorer and Grand Cherokee, there are obviously hundreds of thousands of people that either don't care about safety or rank it lower than other things, based on the sales numbers for these two vehicles. Do all these people clearly not give a shit about their family? I don't think so. My guess is that they buy based on the same assumptions as everyone else - they expect cars today to be better than cars of the past and they don't expect to be in an accident, so they choose based on a multitude of other factors - vehicle looks/features/cost/etc... and safety is a passing thought because all vehicles have many of the same safety features, so they must be relatively safe.

      The tone is the same as many other reviews, whether they be TVs, phones, motorcycles, whataver. I've read lots of reviews that say things like "if you value X or really care about Y then this is the product for you or this is not the product for you." At the end of the day we can all interpret things the way we want, but, again, I have yet to see the words "the Explorer is a death trap" or "do not buy the Explorer" in an article and attributed to IIHS.

      The problem isn't going to die and go away. Many manufacturers only seem to do the bare minimum by designing to testing that they want to tout in their marketing. In a few years, I am sure IIHS will find that manufacturers are again designing to the tests at the time and may introduce a new test to simulate a new crash scenario and vehicles that weren't specifically designed for that, probably won't do well on the new test. Wash, rinse, repeat...
       
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    23. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Hiw many times are you going to repeat that? If you read what I wrote correctly, I said they are basically saying that. I never said it is what they reported. Their tone and how they put in the comment about caring about your family (that was totally not needed) to me refers to that these are dangerous vehicles and not to put your family in them. So yes, to me it is exactly what they are saying.

      How many injuries resulted in the passenger being hurt over the driver? How many resulted in a passenger overlap crash? They dont break it down in any way between passenger and driver.

      Also, between 2011 and 2014, there were 1.2 million explorers sold. The 4x4 version resulted in 3 deaths per million. The 4x2 version was mid 20s (not sure why such a difference). Going with the 4x4, if only 3 people died out of a million vehicles, that is evidence the Explorer is extremely safe. Yet this joke of a test and joke of a report would let one believe AGAIN, to not buy it if you care about your family.

      It is that statement about caring for your family and the safety that bothers me. It is ridiculous to say such a thing.
       
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    24. thefranchise713

      thefranchise713 Well-Known Member

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      Sorry, I was looking at the driver-side and passenger-side front small overlaps as one test, so I should have clarified a "type" of test instead.

      For the record I too was bothered by how some of the mid-cycle engineering changes were deployed, with respect to the F150 and even the Escape that had one side bolstered but not the other. But in the latter case, one could also argue that the passenger side small offset would be far less likely to occur than the driver's side small offset.
       
    25. KayGee

      KayGee Active Member

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      It's not really all that ridiculous if you separate emotion and facts.

      IIHS tests and rates vehicles on their crash worthiness and likelihood of injury to occupants, not whether occupants are likely to, or going to, DIE. Again, I don't know of anyone compiling and reporting on injury data from vehicle accidents that would show whether real world injuries in Explorer accidents are higher or lower that other vehicles with better or worse crash test ratings.

      Anyway, based on test results, the Explorer (and Grand Cherokee) would not be the safest vehicles out there because there are plenty of others that rate higher. It is a simple fact and it logically follows that if one is especially concerned about safety, there are better choices than these vehicles. If you don't believe the test results or find legitimate fault in their methodology, then by all means, call them out for that.

      BTW, deaths per million isn't evidence of how safe a vehicle is. You have to consider injuries and severity of injuries for those that survive the crashes.
       
    26. blwnsmoke

      blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I'd rather survive then die so yes deaths per million are evidence that the vehicle is safe.
       

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