This is kind of a long-known fact, but there's some new data to back it up. Just because you pony up those extra tens of thousands of dollars for a luxury car doesn't mean you will get bumpers that protect you from damage any better. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just released a new report on the amount of monetary damages suffered by some luxury and near-luxury vehicles in low-speed impacts - parking lot mishaps and fender benders at 3 to 6 miles per hour. They found that in this group of cars, repair bills could be as high as $14,000! While that doesn't mean the passengers are inherently unsafe in these vehicles, the high repair costs can get people, well, a little upset.

While we don't necessarily agree with IIHS VP Joe Nolan when he says "There shouldn't be much or any damage in collisions at these speeds," we were a little shocked by the numbers. While testing 11 different 2007 luxury vehicles, for instance, the IIHS found the Infiniti G35 had the highest repair bill. It totaled a whopping $14,000, which is quite a bit when the whole car retails for just $31,450. But in all fairness, this is a series of four different tests and labor and paint work often add a lot to repairs. Working down the list, the Acura TL and Mercedes C Class required more than $11,000 in repairs, the Lexus ES was just under $11,000, and the Lexus IS was about $9,500. Repair totals for some others were $8,224 for the Volvo S60, $7,554 for the Acura TSX and $6,681 for the BMW 3 Series. The best three vehicles in the tests were the Saab 9-3, Audi A4 and Lincoln MKZ, all with less than $6,000 in damages.

We join the automakers in noting that these tests are strictly about repair costs and have nothing to do with vehicle safety, but maybe it's time to get back to the rubber stripped, chrome bumpers of yore to keep those parking lot mishaps more manageable. Or, you know, not.

Thanks, FRM!

[Source: MSNBC]


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