Some of the most popular luxury cars rated poorly in the latest crash tests.
In fact only two – the Acura TL and Volvo S60 – earned good ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety small overlap frontal crash tests. Nissan Motor Co's Infiniti G, earned an "acceptable" rating.
The C-Class, Volkswagen's Audi A4 and Toyota Motor Co's Lexus ES 350 and Lexus IS earned an overall "poor" rating in the test.
According to the IIHS most cars are now built to handle head-on collisions without crushing the driver because they have built in safety cages. But the small overlap crashes involve only the front corner of a car.
A 2009 study by IIHS found small overlap crashes account for nearly one of out every four frontal crashes that caused serious injury or death. Right now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not test for these kinds of crashes.
The Institute's test showed that there was a high risk of foot or leg injury in five top-tier vehicles. In both the C-Class and the Lexus IS, the crash dummy's right foot was lodged under the brake pedal.
Four models snagged a "marginal" score. They include the Acura TSX, the BMW 3-Series , Ford Motor Co's Lincoln MKZ and the Volkswagen CC.