In a new test for frontal vehicle safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that several luxury car models don’t perform well, reports CNN Money.
The test is known as the “small overlap impact,” in which a vehicle strikes another car or a stationary object, such as a tree or telephone pole, with a small portion of its front bumper.
Of the 11 models that were included, 8 failed the test, which is designed to imitate about a quarter of the most serious and fatal injuries in frontal crashes.
In the test, the vehicle travels at 40 mph and hits a barrier with a quarter of its bumper, causing the vehicle to spin. Because the car’s front wheel is pushed back into the front seat, these types of crashes cause serious foot and leg injuries, other severe kinds of injuries, and fatalities.
The spinning motion makes it harder for the airbags to protect the car’s occupants, and the smaller impact area makes it harder for the car’s steel structure to spread the impact force equally around the occupants.
Government safety regulators currently don’t perform this type of test.
Mercedes Benz C class, Lexus IS and ES, and Audi A4 earned the worst ratings on the new test.