LUXURY FLOP: Most midsize luxury cars flunked a new crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Only the Acura TL, Volvo S60 and Infiniti G scored good or acceptable ratings. "Marginal" or "Poor" scores were given to the Acura TSX, BMW 3 Series, Lincoln MKZ , Volkswagen CC, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS 250 and ES 350 and Audi A4.
NEW TEST: The new test mimics what happens when 25 percent of the car's front end hits a fixed object like a tree at 40 miles per hour. Mercedes says the scenario is severe and uncommon, but IIHS disputes that.
WHY IT MATTERS: IIHS tests are closely watched by the industry and carmakers brag about good ratings in their ads. The tests often lead to design changes or added safety features.