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New test reveals luxury cars may not be as safe as they appear

When Houston residents buy a car, they usually assume that it has been assembled properly and that it has passed the proper safety inspections. After all, cars wouldn't be sent to market if they weren't safe, right? But a new test has revealed that some cars may not be as safe in a car accident as they appear.

The new test evaluated several brands of luxury cars in what's called a small overlap frontal crash, which is not quite head-on. The test looked at luxury cars because those typically have many safety features that are mentioned prominently in their advertising.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

According to the president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 10,000 people die annually in front-end car crashes, and about 2,500 of those are in small frontal overlap crashes.

And in the test of 11 model year 2012 luxury cars, the test found that only three earned a rating of "good" or "acceptable" in a small frontal overlap crash.

A mechanic says one of the main problems with this type of accident is that the airbag may not be triggered. This could be a fatal design flaw in many cars. In the overlap crash, the force of the crash is distributed evenly through the safety cage. Instead, the impact is on the corner of the car, and the crash can more dangerously affect the driver and passenger.

It's important to remember that this first test was done only on luxury models. If the cars that are supposed to have the latest and best safety technology fail the test, it does not bode well for less expensive cars that many families and younger people buy.

Source: KTRK, "Crash tests reveal issues with luxury cars," Jeff Ehling, Aug. 14, 2012

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