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NHTSA cites safety concern after crash testing smart fortwo

Click above to view video of the 2008 smart fortwo crash test

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently conducted crash tests for the 2008 smart fortwo. Anyone who has laid on the tiny two-seater will probably tell you that safety is a major concern considering that the average vehicle size in the U.S. is much larger than in the fortwo's native European market, and the thought of being in one that's sideswiped by a Suburban is not pleasant. Daimler was confident that the fortwo would perform well in federal crash tests, and it actually did earning four stars in the front crash test for both the driver and passenger and five stars in the side crash test, the highest number the federal agency gives. During the side test, however, the driver door opened, which the NHTSA cites as a safety concern. If the door of a vehicle opens during a crash, the chance that a passenger could be flung from the car is obviously higher. After watching the videos of both crash tests (check 'em out after the jump), we're actually impressed with how well the fortwo handles blunt impact trauma thanks to its safety cell. Being as small and lightweight as it is, however, the car surrenders to inertia and quickly heads the opposite way when struck. Thanks for the tip, Noel!

[Source: NHTSA]

2008 smart fortwo - NHTSA side impact crash test

2008 smart fortwo - NHTSA front impact crash test

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