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Many Mid-Size Cars Fare Poorly in Low-Speed Crashes: Report

May 24, 2002

Crashes at 5 miles per hour may seem harmless, but they still inflict significant and costlydamage to some mid-size cars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) said in a report released on May 24.The institute tested nine mid-size vehicles ranging from inexpensive to luxury cars, and reported that five of the nine rated poorly for bumper performance in low-speed crashes, and that none of the automobiles earned a good rating.The Institute, an independent research organization, is funded by auto insurers that conducts safety tests on vehicles purchased from dealers.Toyota's 2002 Camry and the Lexus ES 300 were the only models to receive an "acceptable" rating from the Institute, while the performance of the Nissan Altima and the Acura TL were judged to be "marginal."Jaguar was rated the worst performer of all, as its X-Type sustained more than $2,000 in damage in two of the four tests, and more than $1,000 of damage in the "front-into-flat-barrier" test, rated by the Institute as the easiest.The remaining "poor" performers were the Hyundai XG350, the Saab 9-5, the Lexus IS300 and the Volvo S60.
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