IIHS crash ratings equal sales, especially in the small car segment. The 2015 Honda Fit only received a “Marginal” rating in the “small overlap” test administered by the IIHS in March. Honda has revised the front bumper, which now earns it an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating. Honda will retrofit 2015 Fit bumpers that were sold before the design change.
“We’d targeted a Top Safety Pick [the IIHS indicator for cars that perform to certain standards] for our customers in the subcompact segment and we really just weren’t satisfied with not achieving that,” Chuck Thomas, Honda’s chief engineer for U.S. vehicle safety, said on a conference call yesterday. “We studied the results of that test and we were able to quickly respond with a modification to the Fit’s front bumper.”
The small-overlap test was introduced in 2012 and more realistically simulates crashes were the impact is focused on just 25 percent of the front bumper.
Welding revisions that strengthen the steel beam under the bumper cover allowed for the better crash rating. The changes occurred in Honda Fit models in June at the new Celaya, Mexcio production facility. Honda built about 12,000 Fit models before the design change, and customers can have those cars retrofitted to the same standard, free of charge at Honda dealers.