Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Business

Automakers adapt safety features to new 'small overlap' test

DETROIT — Two redesigned Honda Civic models were the only small cars to get the top rating in stringent front-end crash tests performed by an insurance industry group.

Half of the 12 compact and subcompact cars tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety fared poorly, while the other six performed well.

The two-door and four-door Civics earned "good" ratings, while the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and the 2014 Scion tC were "acceptable."

The Chevrolet Cruze and Sonic and the Volkswagen Beetle got "marginal" ratings, while the Nissan Sentra and the Kia Soul and 2014 Kia Forte were rated "poor."

The group didn't test the Toyota Corolla because a new version is coming out in the fall. The Corolla is the No. 2 selling small car in America, behind the Civic.

The cars were rated for their performance in the insurance institute's "small overlap" test of crashes that cover only 25 percent of a vehicle's front end. These tests, added to the IIHS' evaluations last year, are forcing automakers to bolster the front-end structure of all cars in order to avoid bad publicity from a poor performance.

The IIHS tests are stricter than the government's full-width front crash test. The institute says that in many vehicles, a crash affecting a quarter of the front end misses the main structures designed to absorb the impact, but account for nearly a quarter of frontal collisions that cause serious or fatal injuries to people in the front seats, the IIHS says.

The two Civic models and the Dart, Focus, Elantra and Scion tC each earned the IIHS' coveted "Top Safety Pick Plus" award for performing well in multiple tests, including the small offset crash. So far, 25 vehicles of all sizes have earned the award. The IIHS said that as a group, small cars performed worse than midsize cars, but better than small SUVs.

The IIHS, a nonprofit research group funded by insurance companies, conducts its small offset test by crashing vehicles into fixed 5-foot-tall barriers at 40 mph. 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.

Comments
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

Associated PressNEW YORK — Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend. Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Raymond James advice for small to mid-sized companies about activist shareholders? Prepare and listen

Raymond James advice for small to mid-sized companies about activist shareholders? Prepare and listen

Shareholder fights between activist investors and publicly traded companies are getting nastier, especially in some industries, and a lot of them don’t involve corporate giants like General Motors and Procter & Gamble.In 2015, according to Raymond Ja...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Dow bursts through 26,000 in record seven trading days

Dow bursts through 26,000 in record seven trading days

The Dow Jones industrial average blew past 26,000 Tuesday for the first time ever, coming only a week after hitting 25,000 and showing further evidence that the long-running bull market is alive and well."There are several reasons for markets to melt...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Associated PressNEW YORK — Swiss food and drink giant Nestle is selling its U.S. candy business to Italy’s Ferrero for about $2.9 billion in cash. Ferrero will take over iconic chocolate brands Butterfinger and Crunch bars, as well as the sugary Ner...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

By JUSTINE GRIFFINTimes Staff Writer Feeling a little sniffly or scratchy or stuffed up? It may be the flu, and you don’t want to wait around to see a doctor this year. This is not the time to write off flu-like symptoms, Tampa Bay area health offici...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Times StaffAFI Mortgage, a subsidiary of an Arizona-based bank, is opening its first Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Its parent company, AmeriFirst Financial Inc., specializes in mortgages. "This Florida team is innovative, knowledg...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Some fear Spa Beach billowing net sculpture could catch birds and storms

Some fear Spa Beach billowing net sculpture could catch birds and storms

By WAVENEY ANN MOORETimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — International artist Janet Echelman may have fulfilled her $75,000 feasibility contract with the city and previewed her billowing, parasol-inspired sculpture for Spa Beach, but for some, key ques...
Updated: 10 hours ago