According to Automotive News, IIHS was preparing to release the crash-test report on the 2015 F-150 after the safety watchdog evaluated the popular, four-door SuperCrew body. However, the agency learned from AN that configuration contained steel bars welded around the front wheels for added protection. Those reinforcements aren't on the other cab variants, and IIHS is now going back to check a SuperCab without the strengthening to check its safety performance, as well.
While the added bars might help the SuperCrew score better in the vital but difficult small-overlap front crash test, there's no guarantee that's their sole purpose. As the head of the IIHS crash lab Joe Nolan indicated to Automotive News, if Ford were just trying to beat the system the company could only put the reinforcement on the driver's side where the agency does the small-overlap test. Also, when the National Highway Travel Safety Administration checked the latest F-150, the Feds gave all three cab styles top, five-star overall ratings.
Due to the additional testing, IIHS won't have the F-150's scores ready until July, according to Automotive News. Starting next year, the cab variants of other trucks will also starting being crash tested by the agency.