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Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram Rated Poorly in Insurance Crash Testing

In a June 4, 2001 press release, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a press release containing it's first crash test results for large pickups more than 3500 lbs. The results showed that the Ford F-150 by far performed the worst of the four trucks tested. The release stated that "the best performer in a 40 mph frontal offset crash test was the Toyota Tundra, which is rated good. By far the worst performer was the Ford F-150, which is rated poor. The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra is rated marginal, and the Dodge Ram is poor."

The Toyota Tundra received high ratings in part due to a strong cab which remained intact protecting the occupants (test dummies). "There was very little intrusion into the occupant compartment, very little deformation. As a result, the dummy's movement was well controlled, and the injury measures all were low except for some moderately high forces recorded on the dummy's right leg," Institute president Brian O'Neill says.

Ford F-150 is worst: In contrast, the F-150 "exhibited major collapse of the occupant compartment in the offset test," O'Neill points out. "As a result of this collapse, the dummy's movement wasn't well controlled. High injury measures were recorded on the dummy's head and neck. The airbag deployed late in the crash, and this also contributed to the high injury measures."

A Ford F150 truck during and after test crash. Forward seat movement combined with and significant intrusion into the passenger compartment by the instrument panel and the steering column resulted in high head and neck injury measurements.

The cab of the Toyota Tundra remains intact protecting the occupants.

"A key aspect of protecting people in crashes is keeping the space around occupants intact. Then the safety belts and airbags can prevent significant injuries, even in very serious crashes. This is what happened in the Tundra but not in the F-150," O'Neill says.

According to a related AP wire story, the Ford F-150 has been the best selling vehicle in North America for 19 years.