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Re: Crash test - A4

I'm very interested in your '86 crash result, as the  NHTSA rated the
5000 series "Very Poor" from '85 - '88 (the '89 100/200 got a "Very
Good" rating.

If you look at the actual numbers published by NHTSA, they report three
sets of values, for each the driver and passenger:  "Head Impact
Criterion" (HIC), "Chest Deceleration" (CD), and Left and Right Femur
Loads (LFL, RFL).  The '85-'88 5000 scored very well on all except the
driver's HIC, which was more than 2,000.  By contrast, an '86 Buick
Century scored about 700, resulting in a "Very Good" rating.

The big problem with the NHTSA tests, however, is that at most one car
of any given model year is tested (not all models are tested), and that
test is not repeated for future model years unless the model "changes
substantially".  Not much room for statistical sampling.

I've been told (from this list) that the major safety related change
made to the 5000 (100/200) series was the addition of the "Procon-Ten"
seatbelt pretensioning system.  Unfortunately, Audi America couldn't
tell me when that feature was incorporated ... it was "too technical" a
question for them ... they would have had to "call the engineers in
Germany" to find out.  Does anyone on this list happen to know?  Also,
how does one determine if a given car has that system in it?

BTW, the "Very Good" rating for the '89 100 (which was the actual car
tested) was for a car with driver's side airbag, which was optional in
that model year.  Thus one can't really tell how the dummy would have
fared in a 100 without an airbag.

> From: Alexei M Voloshin <Alexei.M.Voloshin-1@tc.umn.edu>
> I read the article too, but to tell you the truth, I don't much trust all
> the new cars in safety. NHTSB says they are good, but a trully safe car
> can not be made of plastic. This summer I collided with a metal guard
> fence head on going about 60 MPH in my '86 5K SCT. Not much left from the
> car (I love the thing), but I had no scratches, nothing at all. Just felt
> a little push forward and that is it. Stepped out of the car and went
> about buying another one. Now, that's safety for you! Simple - the car
> was built like a tank and engineered to survive autobahn speed crashes!
> They don't make cars that solid anymore. Some friends of mine run tests
> on cars at U of California at Berkley at their mechanical engineering
> lab. They tell me that new cars are no good in terms of crash. Sure, your
> haed and chest is ok (that is what NHTSB), but what about your legs,
> arms, and back. They say Audi are ok, but worse than the ones built in
> '91. In fact '91 200 CSTQ was the best one they ever tested in Audies.

Ken Bell :: syklb@giss.nasa.gov :: (212)-678-5516 (voice), 678-5552 (fax)
======== :: kenbell@panix.com   :: (212)-475-4976 (voice)