Korean automaker Kia has gone to great lengths to promote its brand in America. Its commercials featuring break-dancing hamsters and hip-hop music is ostensibly directed towards younger, first time car buyers. The same could be said with the series of commercials featuring Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.
However, the safety ratings associated with some of Kia’s popular models have not been fruitful. According to a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Kia Soul and Forte have only recently received upgraded ratings.
The Soul previously scored poorly in the IIHS’ small overlap front test, which is one of the tests used to evaluate the crashworthiness of a car. Kia made several structural improvements in its 2015 model, and the car now rates as a “Top Pick” for crashworthiness.
Meanwhile, the upgrades to the Forte did not yield the same results. It only received a “marginal” rating from the IIHS. The Institute noted several deficiencies, including the side airbag lacking sufficient coverage to protect the head, the crash test model’s head reaching the instrument panel in a frontal crash, along with the driver’s seat not being maintained well.
IIHS tests are helpful indicators of crashworthiness and predictors of how people may do in crashes. When these tests unearth a problem or defect, it is an automaker’s duty to use reasonable care in resolving the issue. If they fail to do so, and a person is injured as a result, the automaker could be held liable.
The preceding is not legal advice.