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Status Report, Vol. 37, No. 3 | March 16, 2002 Subscribe

New minivan from Kia sustains $9,747 damage in 5 mph bumper tests

The Kia Sedona passenger van sustained more than $1,000 damage in each of the Institute's four crash tests at 5 mph. Damage in the simplest impact, front-into-flat-barrier, totaled more than $4,000.

The big problem in the flat-barrier test was that the airbags deployed. Both driver and passenger airbags had to be replaced. The passenger airbag cracked the windshield during deployment so it, too, had to be replaced, as did the top of the instrument panel. The cost of these and other repairs came to $4,305.

Airbags shouldn't deploy in low-speed impacts because they aren't needed, cost a lot to repair, and could harm out-of-position occupants. Airbags should deploy in the equivalent of a 12 to 14 mph barrier crash, not a 5 mph impact. Kia is investigating why this happened.

Other damage to the Sedona included $2,971 in repair costs after the rear-into-pole test, in large part because the bumper system doesn't incorporate adequate absorption capabilities. The result is that the tailgate and rear body panels were damaged beyond repair. Vehicle lights were damaged in both this test and the front-into-angle-barrier impact.

"It was a very poor performance," Adrian Lund, Institute chief operating officer, points out. "The Sedona's bumpers simply failed. The plastic bar cracked in all four tests, and the bumper cover had to be replaced after three of the four tests. The worst result was the airbag deployment in the flat-barrier test. This shouldn't happen."

Kia low-speed crash test

When the Kia Sedona hit the barrier in a 5 mph crash test, the airbags deployed. Total damage in this test alone topped $4,000.


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