Luxury cars fail crash test

Automakers continue to report discouraging news regarding driver safety.

MSN Money notes: The auto industry has had its fair share of trials lately, as trusted motor companies like Ford (F +0.43%) and Toyota(TM -0.80%) have announced several recalls throughout 2012. If that wasn’t enough to worry drivers, now several luxury cars have failed a new crash test administered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the results raise concerns that several high-end vehicles may not protect drivers and passengers from possible injuries, despite their hefty price tags and sterling reputations.

Here are the safety ratings of the 11 cars tested:

  • Mercedes Benz C250 — Poor
  • Lexus IS 250 — Poor
  • Lexus ES 350 — Poor
  • Audi A4 — Poor
  • Volkswagen CC — Marginal
  • Lincoln MKZ — Marginal
  • BMW 328i — Marginal
  • Acura TSX — Marginal
  • Infiniti G — Acceptable
  • Volvo S60 — Good
  • Acura TL — Good

But just how crucial was the test to begin with? While some could argue that any vehicle-testing failure is critical, this particular assessment appears to be of the utmost importance. The new crash simulation tested front-corner impacts to determine what would happen if a sedan hit another vehicle or object.

What is even more frightening for drivers is how long these marginal-to-poor ratings could take to correct. David Champion, director of Consumer Reports’ auto testing program, told the Times that it could take five to 10 years before each manufacturer determines how to pass the test – numbers that will surely fail to impress the owners of those particular models.

Protection has been a consistent topic of discussion amongst automakers as of late, with the media doing its part to alert drivers to recent vehicle malfunctions and recalls. That being said, Ford announced yet another recall on Tuesday, this time in India.

The Detroit company is recalling approximately 130,000 of its most popular cars overseas for defects that can cause fires and other issues, according to ABC News. Ford will replace a hose in many Figo and Classic cars and examine several thousand models for a faulty rear twist beam.

The recall affects Figo and Classic cars made between January 2008 and February 2011.

Announcing another recall could have potentially negative implications on Ford stock, which is struggling to add value as of late. The company rose less than 1% Tuesday to close at $9.44.

As safety issues continue to surface, drivers are left to question whom they should trust their lives to on the open road. Thus far, General Motors (GM -1.27%) may seem like the safest option, as the company has remained mostly silent throughout the recall and crash test frenzy.

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