Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Rugged" SUVs Sustain Costly Damage in Minor Accidents

Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim: How to Evaluate and Settle Your LossThere are actually different scenarios which has similarities other than the expensive cost of repairing a vehicle. Note that the vehicles in these examples are SUVs.  
  • Backing in a parking area and accidentally hitting the front of the car parking behind it.
  • Accidentally scratched a part of the vehicle’s rear in a low pole at a gasoline station.
  • Slowly reducing your speed before reaching a stoplight when another vehicle hit you from behind.
All of these situations are on a low speed and had bumper damages on it.
When it comes to SUVs, it would cost you as much as $3,000 just to repair for the minor bends in the bumper or in any parts of the vehicle as well.
According to the advertisements of the different SUV manufacturers, this type of vehicle is the tough and can tolerate even the roughest road condition. However, these are just purely advertisements. There are just a few SUV models that have bumpers that can withstand minor collisions and bumps. In a study conducted in 2003, there are 8 out of 9 midsized SUVs that have poor bumper performance and low ratings when tested for a crash test (integrating only 5 mph for the speed). The said study was performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
It was only the 2003 Honda Pilot that was proven to be equipped with high performance bumpers that can even withstand both minor and major damages. But there are also some models that got an average rating such as the 2004 Lexus RX 330, 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor, and the 2003 Nissan Murano. On the other hand, the SUVs that got the poor rating includes the 2003 Kia Sorento, 2004 Cadillac SRX, 2003 Toyota 4Runner, 2003 Infiniti FX35, and the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica.
The study that was conducted by the institute have tested not only the front but the back as well. These parts have been crashed in flat barriers, poles, and angle barriers to see how it would damage the bumpers.
Most of the vehicles that were mentioned above got big damages although the collision is only minor. For every test, the repair cost ranges from $400 up to $1,600 depending on the SUV model. The SUV models that got poor rates had the biggest repair cost when the rears were tested on the poles. The Kia Sorento, Chrysler Pacifica, and the Cadillac SRX were not strong enough to protect the sheet metal and the other parts of the vehicle during the said tests. As a matter of fact, you would have to spend as much as $2,800 for repairing the SRX and the Pacifica. On the other hand, the Kia Sorento would cost you $2,200 just for the repair expenses.
According to the Chief Operating Officer of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it is actually not hard to build a bumper system that is decent enough to face minor collisions. Mr. Adrian Lund also said that it is not that expensive as well. But it would definitely cost a lot if you would not do anything about your SUV’s poor bumper performance.
Many other vehicles have bumpers providing inadequate protection. Of course, when auto insurers set insurance premiums, they must take into consideration the high risk of expensive bodywork for minor accidents. These costs get passed along to consumers in their auto insurance premiums.   

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