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.