2014 Toyota Corolla Doesn’t Meet Safety Standard

April 28, 2016

Toyota has built its brand around creating safe cars that are fuel and cost efficient. In 2014, Toyota introduced the world to the redesigned Toyota Corolla, a car that has been the company’s economy offering for several decades. The redesigned Corolla debuted to rave reviews for style and improvements to its cabin size. Unfortunately, one award the Corolla usually has in the bag managed to elude it in 2014.

The 2014 Toyota Corolla Gets Some Bad Press

For the longest time, the Toyota Corolla has been a recipient of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top-Pick award. This award signifies that the winning vehicles all received superior marks for safety in all of the IIHS’ crash tests. It’s a big deal and a huge selling point. However, the redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla failed to meet the IIHS’ new standards for safety. Here’s what went wrong.

New IIHS Standard Raised the Bar

First, let’s get this clear. It’s not the IIHS’ fault that the Corolla didn’t meet the required safety standard for their new tests. Over time, research has shown that small overlap crashes are among the most common and the most dangerous. For that reason, the IIHS has made it a requirement for a vehicle to receive a Good or Acceptable rating for this test in order to qualify for the coveted “Top Safety Pick” or “Top Safety Pick +” awards.

That being said, the Corolla simply did not do well enough in the test to earn a high rating. While it excelled in the usual areas, the new tests were a challenge that Toyota, apparently, was not prepared for. This might not be too disconcerting, except that three Toyota models did poorly on the tests in 2013. A statement issued by Toyota Spokesman John Hanson intimated that the company isn’t absolutely convinced that good results on the new IIHS crash tests would translate to better real-world safety. With the auto industry still fragile from global economic crises, Toyota isn’t keen on upping safety expenditures on cars that, prior to these new crash tests, received top honors for safety.

What Went Wrong?

As it turns out, the Toyota Corolla barely missed the mark and a little bit of work could easily improve their score. Slow-motion playback of the crash test video shows that in a small-overlap collision the car crumples into the driver’s space, which raises the risk for serious leg injuries.

The playback of the Corolla crash test video also showed that the crash test dummy’s head rolled left off of the airbag which indicates a risk to the driver of serious head injuries. The IIHS did admit that the side curtain airbag did provide enough protection to prevent this sort of head trauma. However, it appears they are more concerned about the possibility than any actual, measurable damage.

Details, as well as further statements from Toyota, can be read in the original article at AutoNews.com

Is the Standard Too High?

One might be inclined to suspect that Toyota has a point in and that the IIHS is just splitting hairs. However, the test has been passed (with flying colors) by other automakers and vehicles. We reported on the well-publicized success of Subaru earlier this year. The Suburu Forrester managed to be the first consumer vehicle to receive high marks for its crash test results in the small overlap crash test.

Watch the Toyota Corolla Crash Test Video

Curious about how it actually plays out? Here’s the video from the Corolla’s IIHS crash test.


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