Last post on Oct 17, 2006 at 4:51 AM
You are in the Kia Spectra/Spectra5
What is this discussion about?
Kia Spectra, Sedan
Dec 28, 2004 (8:06 am)
yeah, I figured it was the new Spectra. I saw the crash test on TV, too. He is a "gung-ho" type salesman and I did get a brochure on the rig I'm interested in, the 2005 Kia Sportage. Go to the 2004 or 2005 Kia Sportage thread here on Edmunds if you want to read my post after yesterday's visit. That SUV is crammed full of standard safety equipment, it really is. But this thread is about the Kia Spectra, and of late about how it didn't perform up to par with the rest of the crop of subcompacts.
I think Kia needs to either tell us what they're going to do to repair the problem with the new Spectra, or issue an explanation on why they think they shouldn't have to, eh? I noticed that when Ford's Exploder was under scrutiny on a wider scale(because of higher Exploder sales than new Spectra sales, affecting a lot more drivers)with their tire problem they were very quiet about their own investigation of the problem. I saw the new Spectra sedan and Spectra5 yesterday. The Spectra has some nice brushed aluminum on the dash and nice interior seat material and the new Spectra is a handsome one...the best looking one I've seen in the Spectra lineup so far. Still, Mr.Lund's crash test showed some deficiencies on that frontal 40mph test that are disturbing. I just wonder if one of the bags didn't open fast enough or something. It would be nice if the manufacturers would study it and find a fix and publish it. Demand a retest. Isn't that what Hyundai had to do with the Elantra a while back?
#183 of 464 Re: Spectraman... [iluvmysephia1]
Dec 28, 2004 (7:49 pm)
Yes, Hyundai demanded a retest after the first frontal offset test in '01 resulted in greater leg injuries than Hyundai measured in their own tests (yes, you can bet the automakers run the IIHS and NHTSA-style tests many times before those organizations do). The unfortunate thing for Hyundai was that in the retest, the driver's airbag failed to deploy at all, which was the major contributor to the '01-'03 Elantra's "Poor" rating. Hyundai's official approach on this was to state that, based on their testing, they could find no problems with the airbag and thus make no fixes. It's unclear whether the driver's side airbags were changed for '04-'05 or just the passenger side (with the OCS sensor that shuts off the passenger airbag under some conditions). Also, Hyundai redesigned the driver's seat rails in '02 to make them stronger and longer, but, according to an internal Hyundai source who used to frequent the Elantra discussion, they put the new rails only on Korean-market cars back then. So it's unclear whether the '04-'05 Elantras have the modified seat rails. Whatever Hyundai did, it was enough to finally, after 3 years, get a "Good" score on the frontal offset test. I really hope Kia responds faster than Hyundai did. It would be a shame for buyers to not consider this fine small car only because of the IIHS' rating.
Dec 29, 2004 (11:16 am)
You also need to be better informed because a good number of cars have the same problem of the dummy's head striking the steering wheel through the airbag. We have been seeing more of this since the reduced power airbags came out. This problem also occurs on much more expensive cars then the Spectra, including the Chevy Malibu and Infiniti G35. These cars were both rated good and the Infiniti even earned a best pick. So the Infiniti is a darn safe car but you still have a higher chance of whacking you head on the steering wheel. I guess you would consider the G35 a scary car as well....
#187 of 464 Interesting article from a legal-oriented website
Dec 29, 2004 (2:41 pm)
This article spells one possible set of future consequences SHOULD the Spectra truly prove injurious in real-world driving.
".....What makes the failure shocking is that car manufacturers know how the IIHS tests and should be able to build the cars to ensure minimal damage to the dummy.
Kia currently stands by its product, according to the story above, but the IIHS test is usually regarded as a gold standard. If Kia does not go back to the drawing board and remediate the Spectra's problems, it should know that a litigation flood will follow, and its settlement costs will skyrocket."
This scenario may be what motivates Hyundai/Kia to consider a retro-fix and retest. Time will tell.
( See.... I'm NOT just a cheerleader. I can post non-positive Kia content too!
#188 of 464 Crash Test Dummies? The Impact of Televised Automotive Crash Tests
Dec 29, 2004 (3:29 pm)
Here's another interesting article that supports the IIHS (in an offhand manner) by analyzing their studies' impact on owner purchasing habits.
The article basically claims that the IIHS is functionally IRRELEVANT in modifying buyer's purchasing habits even though their data IS accurate.
While I'm in agreement that all of the online evidence I've observed to date supports the basic scientific measurments and assessments of IIHS data, I DO want to float this premise out for the sake of discussion.
If an organization's primary function was to provide information that was routinely ignored by the purported consumer (as the above study implies),
AND this organization's "product" (safety reports in this case) were only released sporadically and thus having limited opportunities to catch the consumer's attention,
AND the current report contains no *truly* horrific and newsworthy data to reveal (I'm thinking as if the Kia had received a more logical "marginal" rating here based on the 3 acceptables and 3 marginal scores -- NO poor sub-category scores at all),
AND the affected automaker is one of the "weaker sisters" of the automotive industry and thus less likely to have political and legal influence on said organization
it is remotely possible that such organization could (I repeat COULD) be motivated to raise their national and global visibility by subjectively issuing a much MUCH more newsworthy 'poor' rating on a car that under similar and earlier circumstances probably would have only garnered a much LESS newsworthy (read: continued obscurity for the publisher) 'marginal' rating. Just 'Google' the terms 'spectra crash' and the amount of indexed global web pages (obviously touting the IIHS) are phenomenal! I really doubt that there would even be 1/8 the amount of web pages indexed on this topic had none of the cars been awarded an overall 'poor' rating.
I know, I know! The facts are that the Spectra is much less safe than its competitors, and I need to get over it. 'Nuff said. Agreed.
But having grown up in the Watergate era and being a student of human history, I am a believer that politics, power, and self-preservation are major contributors to everything we see, hear, and touch around us.
"The Truth Is Out There....." <tm>
( grin )
#190 of 464 Re: Crash Test Dummies? The Impact of Televised Automotive Crash Tests [spectraman]
Dec 29, 2004 (3:47 pm)
Yes, and we all know that the Cigarette-Smoking Man killed JFK, not Lee Harvey Oswald.
Re-read the IIHS' press release. Note how little extra attention they give the Spectra's results. The headline doesn't scream, "Kia Spectra rated Poor on latest IIHS tests!" They talk all about how well the Mazda 3 and Elantra did before they give the details on the Spectra.
Also look at some of the other recent press releases from the IIHS and you'll notice they don't over-emphasize "Poor" ratings, but also don't avoid pinning them on the "big boys" of the auto industry, e.g. the "Poor" rating they assigned the Ford Escape w/o side airbags, in the side impact crash test.
The facts are that the Spectra is much less safe than its competitors, and I need to get over it. 'Nuff said. Agreed.
That's 2001, not 1991, for the last "Poor" rating on the frontal offset crash test.