Crash Test Findings For Small Cars In U.S. Released

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CBS News

A new round of crash tests finding many small cars don't perform well on front-end collisions. Only one model received the top ranking of "good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Honda Civic earned the top safety rating in a new kind of crash test. For the first time the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted what it calls small overlap crash tests - to see how the front corner of small cars holds up during a collision. That area isn't always designed to absorb a crash's impact.

David Zuby of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says this type of collision causes 25 percent of serious injuries in frontal crashes.

"We still kill close to 9000 people every year in frontal crashes so this is one of the remaining problems."

The Dodge Dart -- Ford Focus - Hyundai Elentra and the 2014 Scion TC all received acceptable ratings. But some popular models did not do well in the safety evaluations.

The Chevrolt Sonic - Volkswagen Beetle - Chevrolet Cruze - Nissan Sentra - Kia Soul - and 2014 Kia Forte all received marginal or poor ratings. But the agency says drivers of those cars should not be too concerned.

David Zuby of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: All the cars we tested today are very safe by virtue of the tests we've been running for years.

The agency says these tests will simply help car companies make safe cars that much safer

The Toyota Corolla was not tested, because a new version is coming out in the fall. The Corolla is the number two selling small car in America.

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