Hyundai, Kia cars score low in US crash test

August 24, 2015
2015 Hyundai Accent (PRNewsFoto/Hyundai Motor America via AP)

2015 Hyundai Accent (PRNewsFoto/Hyundai Motor America via AP)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Three cars made by South Korea’s top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its corporate cousin Kia Motors Corp. have received low ratings in a crash test conducted in the United States, an American motor safety institute said Monday.

Of the two automakers’ 17 models sold in the U.S. market, Hyundai’s Accent subcompact and Tucson sport utility vehicle (SUV) as well as Kia’s Sportage SUV were rated as “poor” in the small overlap front crash test, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The test evaluates a vehicle’s level of protection when the front corner of the car hits another car or other object while moving at a speed of about 64 kilometers per hour. The cars’ safety is rated in four different “crashworthiness” categories — good, acceptable, marginal and poor.

Although the IIHS specifically cites that the test results apply for all manufactured vehicles of the three models, including those from 2015, both Hyundai and Kia said the test results are from several years before and do not fully reflect the carmakers’ current safety standards.

“The ratings for the Tucson, Accent and the Sportage are all from assessments made between 2010 and 2012,” the carmakers said through a press release. “There has not been any updates made to those models since, so the (IIHS) has been posting the initial test results.”

“The IIHS started to include the small overlap front crash test in 2012, so new vehicles introduced to the market since then have been engineered accordingly to fit the safety standards,” the firms added.

Meanwhile, six more recent models produced by Hyundai and Kia, including the Genesis luxury sedan and the Sorento SUV, have been named the top safety picks by IIHS, after they received good ratings for all tests conducted by the U.S. institute including the small overlap front crash test.