Study: Subcompacts Score Low On Safety Tests

An insurance industry group says subcompact cars aren't doing well in crash tests.

After testing 12 minicars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released some poor results. According the the report, none of the cars tested got the highest safety rating. In fact, only the Chevy Spark got an "acceptable" mark, which is the second-highest possible rating. Six vehicles received the lowest rating possible of "poor." The rest were rated "marginal."

Researchers told NBC News that minicar's compartments are too vulnerable during crashes where the front corner of the car is smashed.

"That's supposed to be your survival space," said Joe Nolan, Sr. VP of Insurance for Highway Safety. "And when you start allowing that structure to collapse and buckle in on you you're hurting the ability of the seat belts and airbags to do their job and protect you from injury."

The poorest performer in the tests were the Honda Fit and the Fiat 500.

Fiat released a statement saying that their car, "meets or exceeds all government-mandated safety requirements and continues to offer a high level of protection in the four main crash types identified by the IIHS - side, rollover, rear and moderate-overlap front."

Honda released a statement too. That statement explained that a redesigned 2015 Honda Fit will be coming to the market in a matter of months and that they're anticipating it will receive top safety scores in all of it's tests.

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