A new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report has shown there is disparity between crash test results in a 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew and SuperCab (Extended Cab). Usually, the IIHS only tests the most popular variant of the model – in this case, the SuperCrew. The four-door all-aluminum F-150 SuperCrew earned a ‘Top Safety Pick’ rating, including a ‘Good’ rating in the challenging small front-overlap test.
When the IIHS was informed by Automotive News that the F-150 SuperCrew benefits from steel members fore and aft of the front wheel wells to prevent the F-150’s wheels from intruding into the cabin space – while the other variants do not, the IIHS was wont to test the other variants.
Testing of the SuperCab showed that in the front small-overlap test, the SuperCab Ford F-150 was given a ‘Marginal’ rating, that’s one step above the lowest ‘Poor’ designation, after testing showed the cabin structure was significantly compromised. The steering wheel was pushed very close to the dummy’s chest, the dashboard intruded onto the dummy’s lap, increasing the risk of leg and thigh damage, and the dummy did not make even contact with the airbag at all. This result is obviously not worthy of the ‘Good’ rating received in the SuperCrew crash test.
When questioned about the disparity inthe results, Ford spokesperson Mike Levine tells Automobile, “The reason for the difference in equipment is a result of the fact that the protectors require a different design to fit on the SuperCrew versus the SuperCab body. And because the small-overlap test is still new, and the truck’s development was well underway by the time the bars were developed, Ford only was able to outfit the larger-volume SuperCrew with the protective bars with the time available.”
However, even with the new results, Ford will not be retroactively outfitting the 2015 F-150 SuperCab or RegularCab variants with the name bars found in the SuperCrew. Instead, Ford is in the process of evaluating how best to update the variants to attain better ratings.
Usually, the IIHS only tests one variant from each model but due to the F-150’s all-new aluminum body and large disparity of equipment between variants, combined with Automotive News’s findings, the IIHs says “questions were raised” about the extended cab’s worthiness, thus prompting the tets.
Given the results of the additional test, the IIHS will begin testing multiple variants of other pickup trucks later this year to keep the playing field fair.
It should be noted that when speaking with Automobile, Ford denies manufacturing the 2015 Ford F-150 with any expectation about which body variant would be tested by IIHS. Ford’s Levine says the SuperCrew accounts for 83 percent of sales volume. He went on to note: “The 2015 F-150 is the safest F-150 ever. No other full-size, light-duty truck has earned NHTSA’s highest five-star rating for the driver and passenger for all crash test modes and cab configurations. It also is the first large pickup in the industry to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick in the current rating system.”