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Old 08-20-2007, 05:48 PM   #1
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Vehicle Passive Safety - I am a Wimp

Hello everyone. I have always been very curious about something - I have never seen evidence of porsche autos being rated by the NHTSA for crash resistance. In fact, I have never really seen any ratings on the true passive safety and impact protection a boxster provides.

For most cars (ranging from the el-cheapo civic to an expensive BMW), I can find crash test data. Why does porsche not subject these cars to any testing? Further, from a passive perspective, how safe really are our cars?

I have to assume that it is because the cars would perform poorly due to the small size, low ride height, and for many porches on the road, a lack of roof.

Thoughts and comments?

PS - my other car (civic) has a lower curb weight and less airbags, yet it was rated for safety and did fine! What is going on here!
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
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Easy. There's no data 'cause we don't crash.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:38 PM   #3
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JCL12 wrote:
> have never really seen any ratings on the true passive
> safety and impact protection a boxster provides.

Well, I'm sure there must be some info out there. For example, once a read a research paper on the Boxster's rollbar, and at the same time also found this:

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Old 08-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #4
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It is a curiosity... IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) is a private "company" that is funded by insurance companies. It could be that in the overl cost of crashing cars, testing a car that sells 10-15,000 year isn't as "important" as the 250,000 civics, accords, camrys and F-150 pickups that are sold every year.

Oh, and on USA Today I saw an article from the IIHS telling us "small cars are not as safe as big cars"... duh, really? Once again, genius at work...

I am not sure why NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Agency) doesn't publish data, considering they are run by the DOT and the DOT requires "federalization" tests to be made before a vehicle can be sold here. I am not sure how that process works - ie Porsche must submit "X" number of various models for destruction or if Porsche can supply the data they receive from the German TUV rating agency in lieu of actual US Tests.

Then again, maybe "big brother" wants all Porsche owners to drive unsafe cars...
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:13 PM   #5
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An automaker cannot sell a car here unless it is federalized, and last I knew, TUV tests cannot be substituted for DOT tests (as obscene as that is). Also of note, the DOT considers manual and automatic cars different models in terms of federalization, and this is why you cannot buy a manual E or S class, A8, or other cars which are commonly found in manual form in Europe here. To their credit, BMW goes to great lengths to bring us manual 5 series cars.

Porsche's cars get tested like everyone else's, perhaps not by the IIHS for reasons discussed above, but you can be damn sure the cars are federalized. As to why you can't find the results, that is a bit puzzling.

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Old 08-21-2007, 08:48 AM   #6
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You ARE a wimp!

Don't run into stuff and you won't need to worry.

Seriously, this probably explains the lack of test data:
http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-297.htm

"Under 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A), a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall be refused admission into the United States unless NHTSA has decided that the motor vehicle is substantially similar to a motor vehicle originally manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, certified under 49 U.S.C. 30115, and of the same model year as the model of the motor vehicle to be compared, and is capable of being readily altered to conform to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Petitions for eligibility decisions may be submitted by either manufacturers or importers who have registered with NHTSA pursuant to 49 CFR Part 592. As specified in 49 CFR 593.7, NHTSA publishes notice in the Federal Register of each petition that it receives, and affords interested persons an opportunity to comment on the petition....

...4. Docket No. NHTSA-2002-12732

Nonconforming Vehicles: 1997-2001 and 2002 Porsche Boxster
passenger cars manufactured before September 1, 2002.

Substantially similar U.S.-certified vehicles: 1997-2001 and
2002 Porsche Boxster passenger cars manufactured before September 1,
2002.

Notice of Petition Published at: 67 FR 48700 (July 25, 2002).
Vehicle Eligibility Number: VSP-390."


However, some crash test data does exist. I don't know how it relates to the nice consumer friendly rating (ie. number of stars) but check out the following:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/testing/comply/fmvss214d/2003COmpl.html
Given the relatively low number of G's, it appears that the car absorbs impact well - a safer design.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-01/Esv/esv16/98S8W27.PDF

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-01/Esv/esv16/98S8O06.PDF

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/database/nrd-11/asp/TestSeriesList.asp?path=/uds/veh_uds/v5700
(Boxster data is about 3/4 of the way down the list)
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer
JCL12 wrote:
> have never really seen any ratings on the true passive
> safety and impact protection a boxster provides.

Well, I'm sure there must be some info out there. For example, once a read a research paper on the Boxster's rollbar, and at the same time also found this:

-- peer
I am glad a boxster is unflippable unless you are on a slope because that rollbar looks like it has completely collapsed and killed the driver.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:14 PM   #8
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You don't really need safety rating if you think about it. In front of you and in back of you there is abou 4 feet of steel, an each side you have 8" of steel. The car is so wide with a low center of gravity you would have to make a sharp turn at 50mph+ to flip it.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL12
I am glad a boxster is unflippable unless you are on a slope because that rollbar looks like it has completely collapsed and killed the driver.
um.. no car is unflippable. Some cars simply resist flipping better than others in normal conditions. Hit a curb, bounce off a wall, truck, another large car, embankment, or simply drive off onto a soft shoulder and turn the wheel to sharply back onto the road and a flip/roll can occur.

The boxster may not (and likely isn't) is safe as a coupe. However, given its rollbar and general high rigidity, it likely fare's better than other "like" cars.

Physics is still physics and no car can defy them. All you can hope is the car does its job giving up its life, to protect the soft, fleshy people inside.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:43 PM   #10
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The rollbar in Peer's photo looks to have done it's job just fine. It is not collapsed at all. It's very much intact and, provided he/she wasn't ejected, I'm sure the driver and/or passenger are far from dead.
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Old 08-21-2007, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-RAD
The rollbar in Peer's photo looks to have done it's job just fine. It is not collapsed at all. It's very much intact and, provided he/she wasn't ejected, I'm sure the driver and/or passenger are far from dead.
I hope you are right - but from my perspective, it looks like the bar was compressed too far. I hope I am wrong!
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL12
I hope you are right - but from my perspective, it looks like the bar was compressed too far. I hope I am wrong!
While it is a fantastic picture, we know nothing about what happened to the car, do we? was it a 100mph collision? 30mph? Was the driver drunk? Exceeding road conditions? Was it a hit and run? There is too much unknown to speculate how any occupant faired.

JCL, I would encourage you to find a car that you would feel more comfortable driving if you can't find the info you want on the Boxster. I am sure M-B will be happy to tell you how wonderful their SLK is
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCL12
I hope you are right - but from my perspective, it looks like the bar was compressed too far. I hope I am wrong!
You are. Are you sure you're not looking at the foam piece laying on the folded top? The rollbar is very much intact.

Same car from another angle:


Racer_D, I believe we do know the story on that one. From Wrecked Exotics:
http://www.wreckedexotics.com/boxster/boxster_121102_005.shtml
"Driver Comments: "These pitures were from my accident on July 4 2002 in my 2002 Porsche Boxster. My girlfriend and I were going to my parents house out in the country. As usual I was pushing the car to the limits. When going around a corner we lost control, spun out, went through the road, up an embankment and then kicked back out to the road upside down."

Injury Report:
No injuries "


There's also this one (different accident):
http://www.wreckedexotics.com/boxster/boxster_20050809_001.shtml
"Going around a sharp turn in the rain with loose gravel the car lost traction and flew about 50 feet into a 20 foot deep ravine. Broke through a small tree on the way, landed on the nose and flipped upside down. Luckily the driver and passenger came out with only minor scratches and bruises. "



Moral of the story? Don't buy a Midnight Blue Boxster. ...oh yeah, and don't drive like an a$$hat.
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:57 PM   #14
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A flying Boxster!
If a guy can smash his windshield "pushing it to the limits" (probably at 100mph) and come out with no injury and another can propel his Boxster 50 feet through the air and flip it with only minor injuries. This obviously means it is an exceptionally safe car.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-RAD
The rollbar in Peer's photo looks to have done it's job just fine. It is not collapsed at all. It's very much intact and, provided he/she wasn't ejected, I'm sure the driver and/or passenger are far from dead.

I have to agree here. It looks like the rollbar did its job and did not waiver or break.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:48 AM   #16
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I have also looked for, and not found, crash test results - however, I think these are very safe cars. Crash "test" results are good indicators of a car's safety, but an even better indicator are actual injury/ death rates. In this category, the Box has done very well:

http://www.crashtest.com/porsche/ie.htm
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_d
All you can hope is the car does its job giving up its life, to protect the soft, fleshy people inside.
Hey! Who you callin' soft and fleshy!

What's an a$$hat?
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