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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it looks like the IIHS finally got their hands on our precious Caliber and threw large hunks of metal at it. It scored very well on the frontal crash test. However in the side impact test, torso protection for the driver is rated as POOR, giving the entire side impact a Marginal rating.

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/ratingsbyseries.aspx?id=575


Perhaps a good reason to purchase the side impact airbag option? Maybe something Dodge should look into improving.
 

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The side airbags are standard I believe. Now I'm wondering how the NHTSA gave the Caliber a 5 star crash rating for both driver and passengers front and rear for both frontal and side impacts.
 

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I think I read on here that the actual '07 model year onescoming out now, not the pre-model year ones most have, the side air bags are now optional. They were standard on mine.
 

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I think the rather high weight of the Caliber wouldn't really help in a side impact, since the moment of inertia is rather high with a car weighin in at about 3000pounds. The impact would not be able push the car away and all the energy has to be "swallowed" by the chassis-structure instead.

Take a Mazda 3 or whatsoever and add enough extra weight to match the Caliber and I am pretty sure, the test results will be almost the same.

Should have been built a bit tougher though, since Dodge might have been aware that they were not building a particularly light car, while on the other hand.....survived 20 years of driving without any problems and those cars and jap. race bikes were all but save (as was my driving style with my EXUPs and stuff ;) ).

The european models btw, don't have a knee-airbag or even a torso-airbag (not even available as an extra afaik). Front-airbags and side-cutain (head) airbags front and rear - thats about it :cool:
 

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Front and Rear Side Curtain Air Bags are STANDARD in all early and regular 2007 model year Calibers. Front Seat mounted driver and passenger air bags are optional for extra protection for the "torso". The side curtains really only protect your head.
 

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TommyLee said:
Front and Rear Side Curtain Air Bags are STANDARD in all early and regular 2007 model year Calibers. Front Seat mounted driver and passenger air bags are optional for extra protection for the "torso". The side curtains really only protect your head.
Thats exactly what I said!? Besides the fact, that over here in EUROPE (at least in Germany) NO knee airbags and/or torso airbags are available - there is no such choice over here, no matter what! Kinda strange though, since crash test ratings are considered to be a major criterion for people deciding on a new car, but well - whos going to understand marketing anyway!?
 

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Swoop said:
Thats exactly what I said!? Besides the fact, that over here in EUROPE (at least in Germany) NO knee airbags and/or torso airbags are available - there is no such choice over here, no matter what! Kinda strange though, since crash test ratings are considered to be a major criterion for people deciding on a new car, but well - whos going to understand marketing anyway!?
I was referring to threads that some were posting that the Side Air Bags were no longer standard. I was not arguing your post, as to be honest, I didn't even read it.
 

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TommyLee said:
I was referring to threads that some were posting that the Side Air Bags were no longer standard. I was not arguing your post, as to be honest, I didn't even read it.
:eek: oh well - not always a good idea, to answer 2 threads in a foreign language at the same time just between 2 coffees I guess!? Sorry dude - just forget about it!
As to be honest too - I indeed wasn't even sure, if your answer was referring to my post - well sometimes...a shut mouth catches no flies;)
 

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TommyLee said:
Front and Rear Side Curtain Air Bags are STANDARD in all early and regular 2007 model year Calibers. Front Seat mounted driver and passenger air bags are optional for extra protection for the "torso". The side curtains really only protect your head.
Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I was a little confused about the mention of optional side airbags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think the main issue here is that Dodge engineered the Caliber to perform well in Government crash testing where the impact is much lower (so the frame of the vehicle itself can absorb most of the energy). However the IIHS runs the side impact test in a different fashion, they do it as if an SUV is hitting you, thus the impact is much higher on the vehicle. So the doors and B pillar have to absorb nearly all of the damage.

All in all I think the actual survivability in an accident will be determined on where your driver seat is posistioned. I have mine further back. So my shoulder is at the B pillar. Personally I think that would make for a safer posistion incase of a worst case scenario Suburban hitting me dead on in the side.

That's the other thing to think about. IIHS testing is Worst Case Scenario. Chances are if you are broadsided, you will not be stationary and the vehcile will not hit you dead on in the side. So really, I think their rating of Marginal is BS. That and my R/T is 10% heavier than the SE so I've got some more bulk to protect me.

Also, side impact airbags were never standard, only the side CURTAIN airbags are. The seat deployed ones were late availability.
 

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Amandyke said:
...Chances are if you are broadsided, you will not be stationary and the vehcile will not hit you dead on in the side....
I've been in a couple of t-bone (broadsided) accidents in the past year and a half and I have to say that I was hit dead-on in the side both times. It doesn't really matter how safe the crash test says a car is; it's always gonna have some kind of impact on the driver and/or passengers. The first t-bone accident, I was driving a 1992 Dodge Shadow and the impact was mainly at the meeting point of the front left fender and the driver's door. I had a bruise in the muscle on the outside of my left thigh and thought I had a broken femur bone because it hurt so bad and was hard to walk on. The second t-bone accident, I was driving a 2002 Dodge Caravan and most of the impact was in the driver's side sliding door and the edge of the driver's door. I had a couple of bruised ribs from being jolted by the divider where the driver's seatbelt housing is located. Neither of the two cars had side curtain air bags and I didn't hit my head either time. In the first accident, I was hit by a Ford minivan and in the second accident, I was hit by a '97 Chevy Lumina; both were decent hits, but the second one seemed to be a little harder. Both of my vehicles ended up being totaled out, but when I compare the injuries that I had, the second one was worse. I still get some pain in my ribs from that accident and it happened in January. My point is that most t-bone accidents are where you're hit dead-on in the side of the vehicle.
 

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Also, airbags have a tendency to cause more injuries. I was riding in the back seat of a '95 Chevy Lumina in June and got hit in the front left corner of the vehicle. The airbags deployed for both the driver and the passenger in front and both of my friends had injuries caused by those airbags. The passenger had a broken wrist (she's still in a cast) that required the surgeon to put 4 pins in it to fix it and one of her teeth ended up cracking down the middle, just from the airbag. I was so glad I was sitting in the backseat. The driver had burns on her arms from the airbags. I personally hope that I never get in an accident where the airbags deploy so I don't have to worry about those extra injuries. Also, to keep this post on topic, I know that Dodge puts out safe vehicles because that's all I've ever had in my family and in all the accidents I've been in them, I've never gotten severely injured (well, no more than the bruised ribs, but I don't think I could have avoided that). The Caliber strikes me as a safe car all around, but I hope I never get into another t-bone accident just because no matter how hard you're hit, most cars will be totaled (that is unless you've added armored metal in all your body upgrades (again not likely)) and I don't ever want to have to see another car of mine going to the auto graveyard.
 

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Wow, remind me never to give you a ride. hehe You seem to attract accidents. Three major ones in the last two years.

As for the front airbags cuasing more injuries, that's up for debate. Who's to say that if the airbags hadn't deployed that they wouldn't have been injured worse?? Just specualtion of course. Personally, I'd take a broken wrist, or burned arm over a skull fracture, broken neck, or brain damage any day.
 
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