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The latest results of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety test on vehicles? head restraints has revealed that several SUVs SUVs had improved protections against whiplash injuries, however, it gave poor marks to vehicles made by several automakers, including BMW AG, DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.
In simulated crashes conducted by the insurance industry, it was found that head restraints in dozens of sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans provided only poor or marginal protection from neck injuries.
According to the IIHS, the simulated rear crashes at 20 mph revealed that many large vehicles do not meet the standards in protecting against neck injuries.
Rear-end collisions are frequent, and neck injuries are the most common injuries reported in auto crashes -- accounting for 2 million insurance claims each year, costing at least $8.5 billion.
Evaluating a total of 87 models, fifty-four were rated marginal or poor, a dozen were acceptable and 21 received the best rating of good.
"In stop-and-go commuter traffic, you're more likely to get in a rear-end collision than any other crash type," said institute vice president David Zuby. "It's not a major feat of engineering to design seats and head restraints that afford good protection in these common crashes."
"We feel our test procedures are good predictors of how well our seat/head restraints will protect occupants from neck injuries in the event of a rear impact," said Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong. Automakers said there were many ways to evaluate rear crash protection and vehicles were designed to provide a high degree of safety.
Among SUVs from the 2007 model year rating poorly were the GMC Envoy, BMW X3 and X5 and the Toyota 4Runner and Highlander.
However, it?s not all bad news as several SUVs also made progress. Out of 59 2007 model year vehicles 17 received top ratings, in contrast to 2006?s six out of 44.
The best performers among 2007 SUVs included: Acura MDX and RDX; Lincoln MKX; Ford Edge; Honda (also maker of top of the line Honda door) CR-V, Element and Pilot; Hyundai Santa Fe; Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Volvo XC90.
Meanwhile Toyota?s 2007 Toyota Tundra was the only pickup to receive the top score for its segment.
About the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses ? deaths, injuries, and property damage ? from crashes on the nation's highways.By gomez32266
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