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Crash Test Troubles Send Toyota Engineers Scrambling

By John Rosevear - Sep 1, 2013 at 12:00PM

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Several Toyotas received poor scores in a new but important crash test. Now, Toyota's rushing to find answers -- and to make its vehicles safer.

Toyota's RAV4 gets good marks for safety on most tests, but it received a "poor" score in a new type of crash test run by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Toyota says it is working hard on improvements. Photo credit: Toyota.

A new kind of crash test has sent Toyota (TM 1.71%) engineers scrambling. The test, run by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, tests a common type of crash that's responsible for many serious injuries. It isn't yet part of the government's new-vehicle crash testing, but it could be in time -- though already, researchers think it's a big deal.

Several Toyotas did poorly on this particular test -- but well on other crash tests --  and in response the company told Automotive News this week that it's hard at work on safety improvements for several of its models. In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear explains why the test is important -- and why Toyota's response is a positive sign for the giant Japanese automaker.

Fool contributor John Rosevear has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevear. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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