The Insurances Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) today demoted 15 vehicles models to a lower safety rating. This is due to a change in its standards. Many are popular models that sell at the top of their segments.
IIHS provides two basic ratings that make news. The Top Safety Pick was for a long time the de facto gold-standard in auto safety. Then IIHs added two new difficult tests and changed the top rating name to Top Safety Pick Plus. IIHS added a new crash test called the Small Frontal Overlap test first. This is a test that simulates hitting a telephone pole with just the front corner of the vehicle. It is a surprisingly deadly type of crash, and IIHS made doing acceptable or better a qualification for the new TSP+ rating.
Next, the IIHS added forward collision prevention to its requirements to get the top score. Once this happened, the Top Safety Pick basically became a failing grade. For 2015 IIHS made the forward collision prevention requirement harder. Thus, the Institute says that 15 vehicles were demoted. In its press announcement, the Institute did not say which models were demoted, so BestRide scoured the listings. Here are the models we found have been moved down to a lower safety rating by IIHS:
Chevy Malibu, Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain, Chevy Volt
Civic 4-door, Civic 2-door, Odyssey, Accord 4-door, Accord 2-door
Jetta, Golf 4-door, GTI 4-Door