Focus Keeps Costs Down!

Ford Focus Outperforms Competition in Repair Cost Affordability

Ford Motor Company’s hot-selling and fuel-efficient Ford Focus is significantly less expensive to repair than 19 other small cars, including the Toyota Prius, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported last week.

Keeping Repair Costs Low
In a recent series of crash tests, IIHS determined that Ford Focus had the lowest repair costs among those tested. Compared to the Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Rabbit, which sustained about $4,000 or more in damage in a single test, the Focus sustained about two-thirds less damage. IIHS praised Ford for equipping the Focus with bumpers that keep their repair costs relatively low. In three of four tests, the Focus’s bumpers protected sheet metal and most other expensive parts from damage, the Institute concluded.

Typically, each of the four tests inflicted more than $1,000 in damage. For example, in the full-width bumper test, the Focus sustained less than $600 in repair costs, compared with the Hyundai Elantra, which sustained nearly $5,000 in damage – almost one-third of the car’s sales price, the IIHS reported.

Designing with Damageability in Mind
Ford Motor Company vehicles are less costly to repair, in part because the company works closely with insurance companies to ensure vehicle designs include damageability and cost of ownership targets.

Ford also references insurance-related data pertaining to average repair costs and loss frequencies from Highway Loss Data Institute, Insurance Services Office, IIHS and NHTSA in vehicle target setting. With this data, Ford is able to benchmark its vehicles against the competition and determine where best to focus its efforts in order to achieve lower collision repair costs, which ultimately result in lower insurance premiums for customers.

How the Tests are Done
To assess a vehicle’s collision loss, IIHS uses a crash barrier that resembles a car bumper, with a foam cover on it. The institute rams vehicles straight-on at 6 mph into their front and rear bumpers and at 3 mph into one front and one rear corner. In almost all the tests, damage extends beyond the bumper. The impacts often buckle the hood, poke out headlights, and smash through grilles, besides damaging the cosmetic bumper cover and the metal bumper bar beneath it.
In the U.S., passenger cars are required to withstand a 2.5-mph impact with no damage. Better bumper designs can reduce those costs dramatically without requiring carmakers to make radical changes, the Institute says.

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