I frequently read publications such as Automotive News, Car and Driver etc, etc, and when I find a headline that states that a 2007 model year vehicle has the distinction of gaining a mere one star for the side impact rating, I have to read it again to see if it’s a misprint.
Many people who are in the position of buying a new vehicle these days have so much more in the way of researching especially when it’s at your finger tips i.e. computers. This instant access to information takes a lot of guess work out of the equation that may have been the norm some thirty years ago, when word of mouth determined the next purchase. Now you can select your top choice of vehicles and see how they stack up against each other and ultimately this may sway any potential purchaser who is sitting on the fence, especially if it comes down to safety.
The unfortunate victim of this one star rating is the 2007 Buick LaCrosse. For me this represents yet another stumbling block on the road to recovery, just when a little momentum is making its way into the ailing juggernaut.
Even though the the manufacture (GM) has been quick to rectify the intruding interior trim on the driver’s side door, the question that comes to mind is. How did it manage to make its way through the production process with all the necessary steps that are in place to avoid these sort of issues? There must be some kind of internal test similiar to the one used by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
What does a one star rating imply you may ask, according to the NHTSA a one star rating equates to a 26% or greater chance of SERIOUS INJURY! Wow, no wonder the changes were made in double quick time but the unfortunate thing is the ratings are up for everyone to see and until a retest is done the safety ratings cannot be rectified. You may ask how does it compare to the results for the 2006 model year but unfortunately the side impact test was not conducted, only the front and rear crash test, gaining the full five star rating. No wonder the officials are surprised and embarrassed at this years outcome.
Automotive manufacturers are well aware of the consequences that face them in an arena that is vastly competitive. The smallest mistake can allow their rivals to take advantage of a mishap and promote their own vehicle to fill the void. Hopefully, the retest will be conducted soon, gaining a favorable result of three stars or more putting it back in contention with the likes of the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.