Television coverage of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s poor rating given to microcars during crashes with large vehicles followed the print reporting yesterday. All three major networks ran segments on the story. NBC Nightly News (4/14, story 6, 2:05, Williams) reported, “Saving money, saving the environment, by driving one of the tiny new cars, the kind that have been all over Europe for years but are just now starting to catch on here.” NBC (Costello) added that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests “that while mini, or microcars, get great gas mileage, their size makes them far less safe than mid-size cars.” Costello continued, “Now, new, head-to-head crash tests for the Smart Car, the Toyota Yaris, and Honda Fit, all of them crashed against mid-sized cars from their own parent companies and all earned poor ratings.”
ABC World News (4/14, story 11, 0:25, Gibson) reported, “The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put the tiny Smart Car, the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris up against mid-size cars and found drivers risk serious injuries in front-end crashes. The automakers dispute that, claiming the microcars are safe.” The CBS Evening News (4/14, story 9, 0:30, Smith) reported, “Smart USA’s president calls the test scenario rare and extreme.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.