Adventures of an Undertaker in DFW with a new 2011 Ford Fiesta

Posts tagged “2011 Ford Fiesta IIHS Top Safety Pick

Spoke to Russ @ IIHS

Here are the FACTS from the horses mouth so to speak.

The 2011 Ford Fiesta (Pre July 2010) carries all of the same safety ratings as the Post July 2010 cars EXCEPT side impact. I specifically asked if there was a lower rating such as “good” or “acceptable” and he stated that “there is no rating for side impact for the 2011 Ford Fiesta on vehicles built Pre July 2010.”

According to Russ, Ford told them there was a “Possibility” that the door handles could activate in a side impact. He also said the “Hinges could move” and then he quickly backed off of that statement and re-focused on the “door handle activating”.

So, there you have it. That was too easy.


2011 Fiesta IIHS “Top Safety Pick” unless

The Ford Fiesta sedan/hatchback is the first minicar to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award since the IIHS added a roof strength requirement for rollover protection.

The Fiesta was recognized as a Top Safety Pick after earning good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear crash protection, and for having electronic stability control as standard equipment. No other minicar the Institute has tested has earned top ratings in all four safety evaluations.

But, the Fiesta’s award only applies to cars built after July 2010 because Ford made design changes to strengthen the outside door handles to minimize the possibility of doors opening in side impact crashes. Sorry early adopters, you’re out of luck.

Sure, this may sound like a rather pedestrian story, but would you look at these crash photos? God we love good crash photos. We hate cars crashing, and we hate people gawking at car crashes when they’re driving by ’em, but for some reason we can’t look away from the photos.
(Fair Credit to Jalopnik)
Emails to the author of this article went un-answered.

So, I email Angie Kozaleski, Director of Communications for Ford Motor Company. I promptly get a tweet from someone much higher up the ladder than her in Dearborn, at Ford. They want to “chat”….I was tied up, really wanted to talk to this person, they she/he this person is supposed to call me tommorow and we will see.

I want a solution to the problem, not excuses. I don’t know what they found wrong with the pre July 10 cars, but it was enough to redesign the door handle and add a “More Robust” product. The word “Robust” tells me that that whatever it was/is it is serious enough that th IIHS would not give Ford the “Top Pick” unless they redesigned the door. I want to know what they changed, how serious it was, and if it needs to be fixed on my car.

I will find out! That I can assure you.

More to come.