Who Wins When IIHS Crash-Tests More Vehicles?

F-150 Crash test II

A lot has been said about the results of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap front crash-testing of the 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew and SuperCab. IIHS decided to test different cab configurations after it was brought to its attention that front wheel blocker bars are included on the higher-volume four-door crew-cab Ford but are not included on the smaller extended-cab or regular-cab versions.

As a result, the 2015 SuperCrew got the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation while the extended-cab version did not because it achieved a marginal rating — on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal and poor — on the small overlap front crash test. To get the Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must get a good or acceptable rating in that test and a good in the other four tests. It should be noted that the SuperCab did achieve a rating of good in the other tests.

When media outlets found out about the wheel-well blocker issue, it didn't take long for many journalists to cry "foul" and accuse Ford of trying to "game the system" by taking advantage of the fact that the IIHS had never tested all of the F-150's cab configurations. Until now IIHS has only tested (it purchases each of its test vehicles from private dealerships) the volume leaders in a vehicle's lineup, which, in the pickup segment nowadays, is the crew-cab model. (We should note that IIHS is likely to be more comprehensive in its vehicle testing in the future to detect differences like those found in the F-150.)

Common sense dictates that if a vehicle has a slightly different size, shape, mass and structural configuration that it might get slightly — or significantly — different crush and deflection results when involved in an offset collision (in this case, offset on the driver's side by 25 percent of the total width of the pickup). And that's exactly what the IIHS found when it tested the F-150's less popular extended-cab version. Extended cabs are estimated to be 20 to 25 percent of total F-150 sales; regular cabs account for less than 5 percent.

The question here is whether Ford is at fault for treating each of its cab configurations differently (all three cab versions did receive a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the max for its tests), including the "right amount" of structural support necessary for each cab, or if all vehicles with the same name should meet similar crash-test requirements. The issue is tricky. Was Ford responsible for IIHS not including other cab versions to see if they would test differently on the small overlap front test? The answer to both questions is probably not. And remember the other truckmakers have not had different cab configurations tested by IIHS either; they too have only had their high-volume players tested. 

For the sake of argument, if Ford had only included those deflection bars (highlighted in yellow and red in the photo below) at the front and rear of the wheel well on the units tested by the IIHS, then accusing Ford of making a vehicle just for this test might make some sense. But as near as we can tell, that's not what happened here. Instead, it sounds like we have a test that's going to be conducted on all pickup truck cab configurations (or at least crew and extended cabs) from now on. That will have the eventual impact of making truck owners safer if, heaven forbid, they find themselves in an accident.

Who wins here? The answer, as uncomfortable as it might make some people, could be everyone. No matter how we get there, making sure automakers build the safest vehicles possible is exactly what third-party safety organizations like IIHS should be doing. If it takes extra time and costs more to test more vehicles, we should thank them for doing so. And maybe we should thank Ford for taking the test seriously in the first place. Who knows?

Maybe someday we'll be thanking NHTSA for updating its crash-testing procedures and including a similar offset crash test of all pickup models and configurations. Hey, here's an idea: How about crash-testing pickups that are designed to carry a load in the bed with a load in the bed? Maybe someone should establish rear cab crush standards to protect passengers from bed cargo. If we want to know exactly how well protected a driver and passenger are during a front-end collision in a vehicle designed to carry up to a ton of cargo in the bed, why don't we want to know how well protected those same people are from the cargo behind them? 

Editor's note: This post was updated to more accurately describe how the IIHS acquires its test vehicles.

IIHS images


2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew II



Ford and Nissan are the only ones with the extended cabs still with no pillar between the doors. Gm and ram use mini crew cabs with real doors and a center pillar for added strength. I would think they would test sililiar to the crew cabs. As for the deflection bars not on the extended cab ford, well that is Ford trying to get away with saving a few penny's and they got caught.

You would think pillars would add roof strength but the ram roof is really weak for occupant protection according to the IIHS.

So basically your helping ford game the system right now mark...........

SERIOUSLY people, Ford obviously only cares about the bottom line. Clearly this is exactly the case here as the truck performs poorly for the IIHS test in the cabs they "didn't think" would be tested.

LETS BE CLEAR, ALL MANUFACTURERS CRASH TEST THEIR OWN VEHICLES IN HOUSE. They knew dang well how those trucks would perform................. Test the Toyota's guarantee however the test comes out the double cab and regular cab will test out just the same as the crew max....... Tacomas just the same.

Heck, ford wont even build full sets of brake lines for their trucks!!!!!!!!!! Instead they install 2 brake line unions for the rear and front sets of brake lines! don't believe me? Anyone that owns a 2004 and newer F 150 look under the cab at the B pillar (between the front and rear door) on the driver side and look at the 2 brake unions. that introduces 4 failure points into the brake system that shouldn't be there............ That's the tip of the iceberg folks, that hydroform frame is cheaper to build too they just did a great job selling you on it......

Its comical to me how they get caught like this time and time again and people still buy this junk lol.

The problem is only the 2015 F-150 was tested so we don't know how the other trucks will do.

Like Ford, Ram only has blockers on some 2015 MY. But Ram will not et tested until 2016 MY when they have all of the blockers. And as far as I can tell GM has no blockers yet.

GM and Ram won't have to take this test until 2016 MY. Is that fair? It will not be apples to oranges.

I do have to give Ford credit for reinforcing both sides of crew cabs not just driver's side like some are accused of doing.

The fact is everyone knew about this test in 2012 and only Ford is being thrown in the fire by IIHS. Ford was the first to reinforced their trucks.

Ram had a new truck for 2013 and GM had a new truck for 2014. What's their excuse for not having the blockers?

Why does Ford get the "special" treatment?

Let's test all the other makes in 2015. Just grab one off the lot now and test them. Compare it to the F150.

Don't compare the '15 F150 to the '16 offerings from GM and Ram.

Apples to apples if we are going to test it. If IIHS REALLY cared about making cars safer and getting folks into the safest car possible, they would test all makes for 2015 and not just the F150 for '15 and the rest for '16.

By small overlap testing only the F-150 it makes it appear IIHS is biased against the new F-150.

"Who wins here? The answer, as uncomfortable as it might make some people, could be....."

The answer is Ram and GM.

Ram and GM likely would have failed the test without the blockers. Ram only has blockers on some 2015 MY.

But as you can see here only the 2015 F-150 underwent the small overlap test....



Okay fine the other brands don't have them yet, the point is ford put them only on thier crew cab thinking it would be the only truck tested, then the poor sole buying an extended cab thinks he's buying a 5 star rated truck and he's not. Those buying ram and gm now what thier buying.

Note: IIHS has no plans to date to test the Nissan Titan, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

2015 Silverado won't have to hit the wall

2016 Silverado will be tested only until December with a 2016 MY after Ford went first and when they have more time to prepare

Tundra was tested but the results not made public yet

Ram will test a 2015 in September but only after they added the blockers, not the ones without the blockers.

Bob, The 5 star test is an entirely different set of tests by the NHTSA. They tested all cabs and gave them 5 stars. If he buys a 2015 F-150, buying a 5 star truck.

The IIHS is an entirely different set of tests and only missed on 4 out of 5 tests. Ram has already missed on one of the tests, the roof. If it was tested on small overlp, we do not know how it would have done.

F-150 *only missed on 1 out of 5 tests.

Ram already started out missing on 1, the roof.

@ Jayson

dude wake up ford was not the first to reinforce their trucks. Matter of fact Ford ext. cab in 2003 was deemed the most unsafe vehicle built!!! the ONLY truck then that got a good rating was the Tundra, period.

The Tundra doesn't have these wheel blockers and i'll bet all the cabs test just fine. I guess only time will tell........

@hemi lol

We'll see when the rest of the Tundra results are made public.

But looking at the tests for CrewCab now, only Ford F-150 is perfect Green All the Way down on all tests.

Ford has a perfect Green Good ratings all the way down.

Toyota has a Yellow Caution rating for Leg/foot

Toyota Tundra also has a Red Poor Rating for the child seats.

Silverado has a Yellow Caution Rating for head and neck

Ram relased a new truck in 2013 and never fixed the roof strength.

I guess Ram does not care about their customers or they are trying to save money like Bob says.


@ Dave Z

REALLY DAVE??????? SO they think the ease of use of a child anchor is bad so you saying that's a bad score? Your foolish if you really believe that.

You ALSO SAID Ford is green all the way down.......... Last time I checked Marginal is Orange not Green

They're just going to pass the increased costs onto the consumer, and then our new pickups get even more out of reach. That's how business works.

Ram's roof strength was leer rated marginal but it's not unacceptable. The have not improved it because it would require a redesign.

Just to clarify, each OEM does not supply a vehicle to IIHS for testing. Instead, IIHS purchases vehicles from dealers to prevent OEM's from tinkering with the test vehicle. IIHS practice is to purchase the highest volume vehicle. All OEM's know this and Ford chose to offer wheel blockers only on the SuperCrew. The wheel blockers are a bolt on part and the other cabs have the attachments on the frame. Ford left themselves an opportunity to quickly add them to the other cabs if they ever got caught.

This article is WRONG! "Common sense dictates ..." does not hold. As an engineer, I follow the requirements. I have to pass the minimum so that the bean counters are happy. As was explained to me on a job early in my career.
Investor spends $20K on widget
Investor sells widget for $50K
Why would investor add features to widget to make it more efficient, safer, etc., thus costing $20K+ if they can only sell it for $50K.
Ford followed the rules and regs ...
now, to fix this issue, change rules such that they read that all similar models (i.e. F150, Escort, Mustang whatever) have to have the SAME safety features or they must be tested separately. Call it an F150, doesn't matter the cab configuration, same safety features.
I believe that the convertibles, such as the Mustang, are tested separately from the coupes for this very reason

I'll just leave these here

4runner vs 15 F150

I see damage to the 4runner through the front fender, no door or body deformation

You can see the F150 damage, at least the tail lights work.



Ford loses again!

Dodge still loses the sales race to a far-superior product.

Ford is junk, kind of like a burger from McDonald's is.

What did Ram win, again?

2015 F-150 5 stars all cabs
2015 Ram 4 stars

F-150 SuperCrew all Good ratings all the way down, Top Safety pick
2015 Ram 1500 crewcab marginal roof; had to delay small overlap test because not all the 2015s weren't up to snuff, must buy back a bunch of trucks.

The IIHS also looked at repair costs for the new aluminum pickup. It ran crash tests on both steel and aluminum F-150 models -- one front into the rear of the other, and then vice versa. In both scenarios, IIHS said, the aluminum F-150 sustained more damage than the steel model. It also said total repair costs were 26 percent higher for the aluminum pickup.

Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/different-ford-f-150s-different-crash-test-results#ixzz3hPj2iNNg

" IIHS said, the aluminum F-150 sustained more damage than the steel model."

Just don't hit a steel Ram in your Aluminum Ford. lol

@John: and that looks like a real resi envirement, just how fast was the Four Runner going?

Looks like a great argument against aluminum trucks.

I remember getting rear ended in a 1979 Datsun truck, by a 1972 Buick Skylark. It pushed the bumper down on the Datsun truck, while the Skylark was totaled and had to be hauled off, bumper, grille, radiator, fenders, hood.

Fourm said 4runner was going~30mph

So what models Rams have these blockers, and which don't? Where is the proof?

Ram was supposed to take this test in 2015, but wasn't up to snuff?

Where is the proof of this as well?

Are we just making up stuff, because we're upset because Ford got caught with their pants down?

And the funny thing is, Ford has been testing a lot of super cabs, most of the reviews out there are Ford super cabs. I know they have a cab that is probably 80 to 100 pounds less weight than a crew cab, plus they don't have these blockers on them, so that would be more weight.

Be careful if you ask for honesty from Ford.

I mean, a company that falsely rates their miles per gallon with their hybrids, strip weight off an F-350 to call it what it isn't, and then say it could carry more weight.

As usual, the joke is on Ford.

In Canada, the Ford sales are slumping so much, the Ram is right there close to them, ready to take over.

The only ones who are guaranteed winners, are the guys paid to perform the testing, as well as those paid by the manufacturers to ensure the truck passes.

Consumers MAY be winners, assuming the tests are genuinely relevant and the best use of purchase price dollars.

Manufacturers MAY win, if the added safety wrt older vehicles make people more likely to trade up earlier.

As long as the 3rd parties manage to contain themselves to test for things that are genuinely and uncontroversially related to safety, and "fixable" for reasonable sums, having them around is likely a win-win, as it is a way to keep manufacturers honest. But if the whole thing turns into an expensive marketing driven charade about who can pass the most marginally useful tests, it just ends up wasting precious resources that could be wiser spent elsewhere (say, better tires), both for manufacturers and end users. Think "Our model has 97 airbags in the rear ashtray, versus yours which only has 96. You're gambling with your customers' safety, just to save a buck...."

Seeing the large number and the variety of Pickups in NA. I would say everyone would be a winner, if all types were tested. Some procedure as in cars

@Hemiv8, do you even have a dog in this fight?? What was rams #'s?? Best thing you can do is just make sure you have enough insurance on your next financed vehicle to cover it or else history will repeat itself. Did you learn anything??

@Gomer - one last note: Your comments don't make me cry even though I do feel considerable pity for you.
Posted by: Lou_BC | Aug 6, 2015 2:56:01 PM




R A M!

Really? So that must make Chevy like a taco from Jack in the box and Ram like an eggroll from panda express. Worst junk.

@Hemi 2016
No guts
No glory
Wish I were Built Ford Tough

Really Mirican, I've owned ford and ram, and will take ram over ford any day.

Having an extended cab with conventionally-styled doors is both ugly and inefficient; they could have put that center post in and still offered the so-called 'suicide' doors and provided a much more efficient means of accessing the extended part of the cab. As it is, the concept makes no sense because you have to constantly move around that back door to transfer materials from front to rear or vice-versa. For all that I'm not a fan of Ford's products, that is one design feature of theirs I like and I'm glad GM retained it for the Colorado/Canyon.

I do agree that Ford tried to sneak one through on the IIHS with the wheel-stop bars, but I also believe they could have handled the whole narrow-overlap issue differently, by designing a way the vehicle would deflect itself away from the impact rather than pulling itself into the impact. This would let the driver retain some modicum of control to steer the vehicle safely away rather than whipping the tail of the vehicle into adjacent traffic lanes to compound the incident.

"I'll just leave these here

4runner vs 15 F150"

Frame's definitely buckled on the F-150. Almost certainly totaled. Expect enough nose damage on the 4-Runner to total it too, but for different reasons.

I don't support Mark William's comment that;

"Was Ford at fault for complying with IIHS' request for the most popular version of the F-150? Was it responsible for IIHS not requesting other versions to see if they would test differently on the stringent small overlap front test? Probably not, and remember no other truckmakers have had different cab configurations tested by IIHS either; they too have supplied only their segment leaders."

This sounds like an excuse by Ford or for Ford by an "outside" party.

Ford would of been fully aware of the situation involving not equipping some of their "work" trucks without the front wheel-well blocker bars.

Ford would of tested pickups with the blocker bars fitted. So the deletion of this would of been known to Ford.

It comes down to profit. What amazes me is the deletion of the bars is in vehicles that will generally carry more weight and drive more miles.

Is Ford looking after it customers?

I don't think so.

If US government wants to have something done, Chrysler is called in and not Ford or GM.

No room for Error or Games .

Chrysler Corporation, run by the intensely patriotic K.T. Keller, had a hand in the creation of the most powerful bomb ever used in war. In addition to building seven of eight of the aircraft engines used by the bombers, and the car used to ferry one of the test bomb, Chrysler made the bomb’s creation possible by solving an “insoluble” problem and building key uranium-refinery parts quickly and well — so well, in fact, that they were still in use in the 1980s.



Gomer - thanks for the irrelevant trip down memory lane.

If one looks at FCA quality and recent recalls and buy backs, they still continue to make BOMBS.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .

you make it way too easy.

@ Road Whale I'm sure both are totaled due damage, plus the bags are blown and the F-150 rear window busted out. Just funny how a mid-sized body on frame SUV and destroy/buckle the rear section of the new "Strong" F-150 frame.

I've had other models of truck that have been rear ended with high speed impacts, police report est 30-45 mph at impact and all it did was bent my trailer hitch on that truck. I ended up trading the truck for a new one anyways, but nothing nearly this damaging from that accident.

I would also like to add that Ford has delivered a very safe pickup in the past, the global Ranger.

The odd thing in the Rangers case, was there was no need to develop/manufacture the Ranger as safe as it is. There are no mandatory regulations for Ford to meet, even in Australia other than bragging rights.

So, why did Ford manufacture the safest pickup in the Ranger and not the new aluminium F-150?

So, this indicates to me that Ford did consider it could get away of not providing the best possible configuration for the new F-150 as it has shown in the past it can provide a vehicle that is above and beyond what was required.

Shame on you Ford.

I have found that "feeding" some who comment on this site only encourages them.

As you are very aware of, there are a few who constantly use multiple names.

I thought PUTC was going to eliminate this.

@Big Al from Oz
I didn't address my post to BlowBC and he still answers. There is nothing I can do. He is just obsessed with my nick name.

@Big Al - correct. The best way to keep a mo-ron in suspense is by not answering them.
Gomer will once again get blocked and will resurface under another name.
PUTC management is lazy and chooses to rely on software and regurgitating car company press releases..

They need to study and follow TTAC. That site has better access rules and despite the fact that they allow off-topic wandering is vastly superior to this site in every aspect (except for the fact that they aren't a truck site).

I am not going to answer BlowBC to see what happens.

Serious brain drain in this one... wow...

He was right, it's working. Mo-ron is in suspense so far.

Breaking News!

August 6, 2015

Fiat Chrysler Knew of Hacking Risk 18 Months Ago

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV waited 18 months to tell federal safety regulators about a security flaw in radios being installed in more than a million vehicles that hackers exploited in July to seize control of a Jeep.

The automaker says it was working on a fix, and didn’t consider the problem a safety defect. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saw otherwise. Eight days after being notified by the company, the agency pushed Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million cars and trucks -- the first auto recall prompted by cybersecurity concerns.

The episode came just days before Fiat Chrysler agreed to a record $105 million penalty to settle complaints about its recall performance on other issues, including malfunctioning air-bags. NHTSA faces its own criticism for failing to promptly get unsafe vehicles off the streets.


Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Are we talking about Ford? The same company that figured it was cheaper to get sued over their bomb Pinto than fix ever one of them? Is this the same company that removes the console spare tire stereo rear bumper to get a payload number? Is this the same company that still is not J2807? Is this the same company that raises it's capability on it's trucks with out changing a bolt when Ram over takes them? Is this the company that has been sued over MPG claims? Is this the same company that uses a 450 to compete with Rams 3500 to claim best tow?

Stay thirsty, and remember to recycle those beer cans. Today's beer cans are tomorrows Ford trucks. Built beer can tough.

Well, at least you can close the door on a Ford--but you better not slam the door on a Fiat! ROTFLMAO!


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