Only 2 of 13 small SUVs do well in crash tests

Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer
Only 2 of 13 small SUVs do well in crash tests

This undated image provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows a 2014 Subaru Forester during a small overlap frontal crash test. Subaru's 2014 Forester is one of only two of 13 small SUVs that are getting passing grades in front-end crash tests done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Popular models such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Jeep Wrangler received only "marginal" or "poor" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (AP Photo/he Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

DETROIT (AP) -- Only two of 13 small SUVs performed well in front-end crash tests done by an insurance industry group, with several popular models faring poorly in the evaluations.

Subaru's 2014 Forester was the only vehicle to get the top "good" rating in the results released Thursday. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was rated as "acceptable." But fast-selling models such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Jeep Wrangler received only "marginal" or "poor" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Small and midsize SUVs, which get decent gas mileage and have the cargo and passenger space of larger SUVs, are among the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. auto market. Sales grew 50 percent from 2005 to last year, when U.S. consumers bought more than 2.5 million of them, according to Ward's AutoInfoBank.

The IIHS ratings are influential because many auto shoppers find them while researching vehicles on the Internet. The group says its crash tests and ratings are designed to get automakers to improve the crashworthiness of their vehicles.

The ratings are for the institute's "small overlap" crash test that covers only 25 percent of a vehicle's front end. The test was added to the IIHS evaluations last year, with the institute aiming to push automakers into bolstering the crash resistance of their vehicles.

The group's tests are more stringent than the U.S. government's full-width front crash test. The institute says that in many vehicles, a crash affecting one-quarter of the front end misses the main structures designed to absorb the impact of a crash. Yet such crashes account for nearly a quarter of the collisions that cause serious or fatal injuries to people in the front seats, IIHS said.

The new Ford Escape, the top-selling small SUV so far this year, got a "poor" overall rating, while Honda's CR-V, the No. 2 seller, got a "marginal" rating. Toyota's RAV-4, another big seller, hasn't done the testing yet because Toyota asked for a delay to improve the vehicle's structure, the IIHS said.

Other SUVs getting "poor" ratings were the Jeep Patriot, Buick Encore, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tuscson, the institute said. The BMW X1, Nissan Rogue, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan and Jeep Wrangler two-door all got "marginal" ratings.

Ford said in a statement that the Escape is safe because it is equipped with advanced safety features and a structure designed to manage the impact of a crash. But the company said it takes new developments in crash performance seriously.

The Forester and Outlander Sport each received the IIHS' coveted "Top Safety Pick Plus" award because they performed well in multiple tests including the small offset crash. Many of the other SUVs, including the Escape and CR-V, won "Top Safety Pick" designations, but didn't get the "plus" due to their performance in the small offset tests. Only 20 vehicles across all car segments have received the IIHS "Top Safety Pick Plus" award.

"With the redesigned Forester, Subaru's engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded," Joe Nolan, the institute's vice president of vehicle research, said in a statement. "This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection."

All SUVs tested, except the Forester, were 2012 or 2013 models. The institute said tests of 2012 models were valid because no significant design changes were made between model years.

Honda said in a statement that the CR-V earned a Top Safety Pick award, which was the best when it was introduced in 2011. The company would not comment when asked if it's reworking the CR-V so it does better in the small offset test.

Chrysler said the Wrangler and Patriot both meet or exceed all government safety requirements and perform well in real-world driving. Like most of the vehicles tested, both were designed before the IIHS added the small offset test.

The IIHS tests have a big impact on car-buying decisions because people are concerned about safety when they shift to smaller vehicles, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of auto sales forecasting for LMC Automotive, an industry consulting firm. People buy the small SUVs, which also are called crossovers, or CUVs, because they perceive them to be safer than cars, he said.

The test results "could impact sales of these models, but more so with families and with parents purchasing these for their kids," he said in an email.

IIHS conducts its small offset test by crashing vehicles into a fixed 5-foot-tall barrier at 40 mph to simulate collisions with a utility pole or tree. The institute gives vehicles demerits when the structure intrudes into the passenger compartment, or if a crash dummy suffers injuries to head, neck, chest or other parts of the body. The group also measures how well seat belts and air bags protect people. "Good" is the top rating, followed by "acceptable," then "marginal" and "poor."

IIHS is a nonprofit research group funded by auto insurance companies.

  • Business

    Sears' second quarter was absolutely disturbing

    Sears Holdings (SHLD) is in really bad shape as its earnings report shows, and as it prepares for the holiday season. The struggling owner of Sears and Kmart reported a staggering second-quarter loss of $2.03 a share as it felt intense competitive pressures in businesses such as appliances and apparel from Home Depot (HD) , Lowe's (LOW) , J.C. Penney (JCP) , Best Buy (BBY) and Walmart (WMT) . A year ago, the company delivered a loss of $2.03 a share. Net sales plunged 8.8% to $5.7 billion. The impact of yet another loss could almost be felt in the dishearted statement by Sears' Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert.  "We continue to face a challenging competitive environment, and while we continue to

    The Street
  • Business

    A new study should have Coke and Pepsi terrified

    People in Berkeley, California, significantly cut back on soda after the city introduced a tax on sugary beverages. That's according to a study of low-income neighborhoods that was published in the American Journal of Public Health on Tuesday. The study found that soda consumption dropped 22% after Berkeley imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The city's tax passed in 2014 and went into effect in May 2015. The new tax made a 20-ounce bottle of Coke 20 cents more expensive for distributors. This extra cost is passed on to consumers. Researchers tracked changes in soda consumption after the tax went into effect, comparing surveys of Berkeley residents' reported beverage consumption

    Business Insider
  • Business

    Why Emergency Funds Are A Bad Idea

    Along with changing your oil every 3,000 miles and checking your child’s trick-or-treat bag for weaponized apples, the common advice to create an emergency fund is overly prudent. All you need is an objective understanding of risk to realize that there are far better places to put your money than an inert account that can’t enrich you. The most recognizable personal finance mavens are almost unanimous in their advocacy of the emergency fund as a vital part of any common-sense financial plan. Their recommendations differ only on size – three months’, six months’, perhaps eight months’ worth of living expenses are enough to accommodate whatever misfortune might befall you. But to what end? And

    Investopedia
  • Business

    Mylan CEO Blamed Obamacare for EpiPen Sticker Shock

    The price of the EpiPen has soared 500% since generic drug company Mylan bought the treatment nine years ago. On an earnings call earlier this month, Bresch blamed EpiPen sticker shock in part on Obamacare. Mylan is no stranger to controversy (see my profile last year, “Why Wall Street Loves to Hate Mylan’s CEO”).

    Fortune
  • Business

    When It's Time to Stop Saving for Retirement

    You’ve done all the right things – financially speaking, at least – to get ready for retirement. You started saving early to take advantage of the power of compounding, maxed out your 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) contributions every year, made smart investments, squirreled away money into additional savings, paid down debt and figured out how to maximize your Social Security benefits. Now what? When do you stop saving – and start enjoying the fruits of your labor? A Nice Problem to Have (But a Problem All the Same) Many people who have saved consistently for retirement have trouble making the transition from saver to spender when the time comes. Careful saving – for decades,

    Investopedia
  • News

    Please stop suggesting these inventions to Ford

    If you’ve ever had an idea that you think would change the way we get around, Ford would like to hear it. The company has a portal open to employees and the public where anyone can suggest an idea to Ford, and, if the company likes it, it may work with the person to help them secure the intellectual property. On the site, Ford has a list of a few suggestions that it would really prefer if you didn’t send them, because the company is either already working on similar ideas, or it’s just heard it a ton of times before and can’t do anything with. “We do not want you to waste your time submitting these ideas (or our time reviewing them), as we will reject your submission,” Ford says on the site.

    Quartz
  • News

    Why Ramen Is the New Currency in U.S. Prisons

    Cigarettes are no longer the most valuable commodity in prisons, a new study shows. Their replacement? Instant ramen noodles. Here’s why. Photo: Reuters

    WSJ Live
  • KR

    Kroger is taking drastic measures to slash prices — and Walmart should be terrified

    The grocery store chain recently cut the cost of 1,000 popular items in 120 of its stores, retail consultant David Merrefield writes on industry website The Robin Report. Kroger has annual sales of $115 billion, about half of Walmart's US sales. Walmart is reacting to Kroger's success by investing more heavily in its grocery experience, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports.

    Business Insider
  • Sports

    The best way to sink Kobe Bryant’s new $100 million fund would be to invest in sports

    Kobe Bryant’s work ethic is legendary: he’s known for showing up three hours early to practice, sinking 400 shots in drills, and taking midnight bike rides to cross train. Now he’ll be looking for similar qualities in entrepreneurs he’s backing as part of his new $100 million venture capital fund, Bryant Stibel. The recently retired NBA star co-founded the firm with Jeff Stibel, a former brain researcher and technology company founder, to invest in technology, media, and data companies. Existing investments include video-game designer Scopely and legal-services company LegalZoom, but the pair’s interest already includes sports investments in companies such as sports media site The Players’ Tribune and Kobe’s personal investment in sports drink company BodyArmor (which later secured a merchandise partnership with the Los Angeles Lakers).

    Quartz
  • Business

    5 Dividend Stocks to Consider Selling Now

    With interest rates in the basement and likely to stay there for some time, investors have, for good reason, flocked to dividend-paying stocks. But demand has pushed up the prices of many popular payers to possibly unsustainable levels. These stocks could be vulnerable to steep declines. People who can live off of their dividend income and can ignore share-price fluctuations may not have to worry much about a market reversal. After all, given enough time, the price of a good company will eventually recover. But investors who can’t stomach a downturn—even if it proves temporary—may want to lighten up on some overpriced dividend stocks. We’ve identified five dividend payers that look overvalued

    Kiplinger.com
  • Business

    Japan's ANA cancels Dreamliner flights over engine trouble

    Japan's All Nippon Airways said Thursday it is cancelling some Boeing Dreamliner flights owing to a problem with the plane's engine, and warned of more groundings. The carrier, the biggest worldwide Dreamliner operator with a fleet of 50 jets, said nine domestic flights scheduled for Friday would be halted so it could fix a problem with a Rolls Royce-produced engine. The move came after ANA grounded a domestic Dreamliner flight earlier Thursday, also citing an unspecified engine problems.

    AFP
  • Business

    Shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals fall after US Patent Office invalidates two patents

    Shares of Teva Pharmaceuticals fell as much as 6 percent on Wednesday after the U.S. Patent Office invalidated two of the company's patents. Mylan had filed a total of four claims related to Copaxone 40 mg. The two patents invalidated on Wednesday are owned by Yeda Research & Development and licensed to Teva. The involved parties are still waiting on a ruling for a third patent, which is expected by Sept. 1. Earlier this month, the Patent Office had ruled that a fourth patent was not eligible for review due to procedural reasons. On Wednesday, Mylan said that it believes the favorable rulingundermines that earlier judgement. The company said it will be "pursuing all avenues to challenge" the

    CNBC.com
  • Business

    Utility Stocks Are About To Pull Back -- Get Ready To Buy

    There's no arguing that utility stocks have knocked it out of the park this year. Utility stocks are always attractive to income oriented investors because of their dividend yields. In fact, I recently recommend taking profits in utility bellwether Southern Company (NYSE: SO).

    StreetAuthority Network
  • News

    World's largest aircraft damaged on 2nd test flight

    The developer of the world's largest aircraft says the blimp-shaped airship sustained damage after it made a bumpy landing Wednesday on its second test flight in eastern England. Hybrid Air Vehicles said it is trying to figure out what caused the rough landing of the 302-foot (92-meter) Airlander 10 during its 100 minute flight Wednesday in Bedfordshire, north of London. "The Airlander experienced a heavy landing and the front of the flight deck has sustained some damage, which is currently being assessed," the company said.

    Associated Press
  • News

    Ford Recalls Over 88K Vehicles Due to Stalling Problem

    Ford is recalling more than 88,000 cars and SUVs in North America because the engines can stall without warning due to a fuel pump problem. The recall covers certain Ford Taurus and Police Interceptor sedans, Ford Flex wagons, Lincoln MKS sedans and Lincoln MKT SUVs from the 2013 through 2015 model years. All have 3.5-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines. Ford says the fuel pump control modules can fail, and the engines may not start, or they could stall, leaving drivers without the ability to restart them. The company says it's not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem. Dealers will replace the control module at no cost to owners.

    ABC News
  • News

    Putin's plans put in perspective

    Russian president Vladimir Putin makes a key Kremlin change

    Financial Times Video
  • Business

    Lincoln, Honda, Toyota, BMW are tops in customer satisfaction (Acura, VW not so much)

    ACSI's 2016 Automobile Report polled 3,776 auto customers, asking them to evaluate their experiences with a wide range of car brands, using a scale of 0 (not at all satisfied) to 100 (over the moon). The 2015 ACSI survey saw continued declines in satisfaction, which was attributed to several years of high-profile recalls. On ACSI's 100-point scale, the average score in 2016 is 82, up 3.8 percent from last year.

    The Car Connection
  • COST

    Furious Costco customers are still threatening to cancel memberships over credit card 'fiasco'

    When Costco began transitioning from American Express to Visa as its exclusive credit card partner in June, delays and confusion had customers threatening to cancel their memberships. Now, two months later, some Costco members say that major problems remain — and that Citi, the card issuer, and Costco aren't doing enough to fix them. In addition to making Visa the only credit card customers can use at Costco, the transition meant that 11 million of Costco's 81 million members worldwide with Costco cobranded credit cards had to switch from the TrueEarnings American Express Costco card to the Costco Anywhere Visa.

    Business Insider
  • Business

    Gold edges off 4-week low, awaits clues on Fed policy

    Gold edged off the previous day's four-week low on Thursday as the dollar retreated, but prices were rangebound ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week which will be watched for clues on monetary policy. Investors are hoping Yellen will give a clearer signal on the path of interest rate hikes when she addresses a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

    Reuters
  • Entertainment

    Gawker’s Nick Denton Faces Hulk Hogan Objection in Bankruptcy

    Hulk Hogan helped bring down Gawker Media. Hogan’s lawyers objected in court papers filed Wednesday to Denton’s bid to lease his $4.25 million Manhattan condominium, saying the contract Denton has proposed doesn’t come close to covering the property’s monthly costs, and will make it more difficult to sell. The property is Denton’s “only salable investment asset” and the lease he’s proposed will mean it loses $100,000 over the next year, lawyers for Hogan wrote.

    Bloomberg
  • SBUX

    No, Starbucks isn't cheating customers by adding ice to drinks, judge says

    It seems that Starbucks (SBUX) can put as much ice as it wants in your beverage. A judge in California dismissed a case that accused the coffee chain of under-filling its iced drinks, saying the plaintiff had "not alleged any viable claims" against the company. "If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the Court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking that when they order an iced tea, that the drink they receive will include both ice and tea and that for a given size cup, some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered," wrote Percy Anderson, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the case in his dismissal of the lawsuit last Friday.

    CNBC
  • Business

    How to Get Serious About Building an Emergency Fund

    You’ve heard it time and time again: Everyone should build an emergency fund. Easier said than done, right? Saving can feel like an impossible task when you’re just getting by each month. But even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it’s still possible

    Money
  • Entertainment

    UK lawmakers urge social media companies to tackle extremism

    British lawmakers on Thursday demanded that social media do more to police users who promote extremism, arguing that companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are "consciously failing" to stop radicalization online. Social media companies are leaving cyberspace "ungoverned and lawless," allowing the forums to become the lifeblood of the so-called Islamic State, according to a report from the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee. "Huge corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter, with their billion dollar incomes, are consciously failing to tackle this threat and passing the buck by hiding behind their supranational legal status, despite knowing that their sites are being used by the instigators of terror," Chairman Keith Vaz said.

    Associated Press
  • Politics

    Lawmakers demand information on EpiPen price increase

    Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote Mylan, the company that manufactures the devices, and asked for more information on why the prices have increased. Two other senators, Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, also wrote the company about the high prices. Warner said in a letter Tuesday that the issue is personal for him.

    Associated Press
  • Business

    U.S. crude down 3 percent after big stockpile build

    Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, with U.S. crude settling about 3 percent lower, after an unexpectedly large inventory build in the world's biggest oil consumer renewed worries about oversupply. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories rose 2.5 million barrels last week, versus analysts' forecasts for a draw of 500,000 barrels. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled down $1.33, or 2.8 percent, at $46.77 per barrel.

    Reuters