Toyota needs to check its spam filter, because it clearly missed a memo somewhere down the line. First, the Toyota Camry and Prius V ranked “Poor” in the new, more rigorous small-overlap crash test invented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Then came the 2013 Toyota RAV4 which turned in a similarly bad performance. Despite promises that Toyota would re-engineer its vehicles to do better, the IIHS now reports that the 2014 Toyota Corolla scored only a Marginal rating in the new test.
In the small overlap test, the car impacts a solid barrier at 40 mph, with only 25 percent of the front end on the driver’s side taking the hit. The test is designed to simulate the conditions of hitting a solid object such as a tree. While this specific type of crash isn’t common, the IIHS notes that it has a higher rate of fatalities and injuries. The 2014 Toyota Corolla won’t help that statistic, according to the IIHS, as the Institute says the Corolla’s “structural performance was poor and the driver’s space was seriously compromised by intruding structure,” with leg injuries near-certain, and possible head contact with the windshield pillar and dashboard possible. By contrast, not long ago the IIHS tested a dozen compacts, the Corolla’s competitors, and half of them got Acceptable or Good scores to earn the coveted “Top Safety Pick +” designation, the best possible.
It’s not like Toyota didn’t know the new test was coming; the IIHS instructed automakers about the new test way back in 2009, and all the problematic Toyotas tested have been engineered since then. So, check that spam filter, guys. Despite the Marginal small-overlap rating, the IIHS says the Corolla aced its other tests, earning a “Top Safety Pick” from the Institute; that “+” sign won’t show up until Toyota re-engineers the Corolla to beat the test. In the meantime, if you love the mesmerizing horror of slow-motion crash testing as much as we do, then check out the video of the Corolla below.