IIHS said it had planned to test the Audi A6, Cadillac CTS and Lexus GS along with the vehicles in the results released today, but delayed those tests because automakers said they were making changes to improve the small-overlap performance of those cars. IIHS policy is to wait to test until such changes are made, if they are done in a “reasonable” time frame.
Small-overlap results are a key criterion in IIHS’ “Top Safety Pick +” accolade, which automakers have seized on as a marketing tool. Several companies have responded to the tougher test standards by accelerating safety engineering changes beyond scheduled redesigns.
Volkswagen, for example, made structural reinforcements to the Jetta for its 2015 model year midcycle update, improving the compact car’s performance on the small-overlap test from “marginal” to “good.”