Okay, maybe not. But the Institute did announce a new batch of test results that included a poor rating for Ford's new Fusion sedan. The rating dealt Ford a potential major setback, as sales of the Fusion had been brisk since the start of the year. The Fusion received a Poor grade in its side crash protection test, a Marginal rating for rear crash protection and an Acceptable rating for its frontal offset test. Results also include the Mercury Milan. Ford has asked the Institute to retest with a Fusion equipped with side and side curtain airbags, which will become standard later this year.
The 2006 Pontiac G6 did better, but still suffered mixed results from the Institute, getting an Acceptable rating for side impact – with airbags – and a Marginal for rear impact tests. The G6 did score a Good rating for frontal impact, however, as did the 2006 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata also received an Acceptable rating for side impact, and a Good rating during rear impact testing.
You know the old adage: you get what you pay for – and it’s especially true when it comes to vehicle safety, apparently, as the BMW 3-Series and the Lexus IS received Top Safety Picks for side, front and rear impacts. Both the 3 series and the IS were silver safety award winners, the 3 Series matching the IS with cars built after February of 2006.
On top of the Fusion’s poor rating, Ford has also hunkered down after predicting no profit for 2006. According to the company’s annual report, Ford expects to spend $1 billion restructuring its North American operations this year. Ford also noted that the bankruptcy of an “unnamed” competitor would be bad for its business, giving the “unnamed”competitor an advantage.
They must be referring to Toyota, right?