Toyota is working to improve the strength of its vehicles in front-end impacts following a number of poor results in a new crash test.

The Toyota Camry, Prius V and RAV4 were all rated ‘poor’ – the lowest possible rating – in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) recently introduced small overlap frontal impact crash test, leaving the trio trailing behind most of their competitors.

Speaking with industry journal Automotive News, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America CEO Osamu Nagata confirmed engineers at the Toyota Technical Centre have been revising vehicle designs since last year in the pursuit of improved crash performance.

“We are now implementing some design countermeasures to improve our small overlap results,” Nagata said.


He said the manufacturer planned to implement fixes “as soon as possible” for the RAV4 and other models.

“Each vehicle has its own countermeasure schedule. As soon as designs are ready and parts are fixed, we’ll have running changes for any vehicle, not only the RAV4.

“We will make sure the customer feels safe.”



The safety upgrades will be rolled out as part of mid-lifecycle updates to the vehicles, with Nagata suggesting strengthening of structural parts was likely.

Introduced in 2012, IIHS’s small overlap front crash test aims to simulate what happens when the left front quarter of a vehicle crashes into an object like a pole or a tree.


  • AndyGF

    Oh, what a feeling…

    • $29896495

      I’ll say. Feeling of being sardined into your car.

  • Golfschwein

    That’s a triple ‘EEK’ from me.

  • AB

    Its concerning in the Prius that the Crash Test Dummies head practically missed the Steering Wheel airbag and then gets pushed further forward by the slower inflating Curtain Bag

    • Dudeface

      Seems to be a result of the forces during impact, makes sense if you think about where the car hits the barrier for the dummy to go in that direction. Seems to happen to a lot of other cars as well.

    • Marka

      Yeah its pretty scary that the curtain airbag opens on the wrong side of the head


    I don’t mind an increase of 2L per 100km for a safer car. I bet the heavier previous Camry is structurally stronger than the current one.

  • $29896495

    Man! So that’s what happens to you with a little bump in a car park when driving a Toyota. One brand to stay away from.

    • Barry

      A “little” bump? Did you watch the videos?

  • jake

    Just get a subaru or volvo

  • yo

    I see that the model’s head goes between the airbags in every simulated crash. Is it a design flaw? I strongly feel it needs an airbag in the corner somewhere.

  • No fears

    Rav 4 has dashboard components breaking free & flying around the cabin. These are severe impacts that do happen but would expect the dashboard not to fling bits at you.Computer simulations off the mark?

  • Karl Sass

    The small overlap test is a good idea. ANCAP has stagnated for too long with every car getting 5 stars. If it’s causing manufacturers to improve their design than it’s doing its job.

    I’m curious how local cars would do, the VF should do well with the big A pillars.

  • Sydlocal

    Toyota aren’t the only brand who fail miserably in this test, even some prestige cars don’t do that well. Honda and Subaru seem to do ok in this test though. It is an interesting test and probably more indicative of real world crashes than the normal offset test ANCAP use.


    Many cars are built like house of cards these days. Load them up at the right spot and they stand up pretty well. Load them up elsewhere and they collapse like a house of cards.