Toyota hasn’t had the best safety record with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety lately, with many models including the 2014 Toyota Corolla scoring “Marginal” or “Poor” ratings in the IIHS’ difficult small overlap front crash test. We already heard that Toyota was reworking the RAV4, Camry, and Prius V to improve on these subpar results, and now a report from Automotive.com suggests that the Toyota Corolla is due for a safety update as well.
The report quotes Toyota executive vice president Mitsuhisa Kato as saying that the automaker is already working on improvements for the Corolla. This should mean structural reinforcements to better prepare the 2014 Toyota Corolla for the small overlap test, which crashes the vehicle moving 40 mph into a barrier that covers only 25 percent of the car’s front surface.
For a vehicle to receive the top safety rating of Top Safety Pick +, it must receive at least an “Acceptable” rating in the small overlap test as well as a good rating in the other four IIHS crash tests. The only Toyota vehicle with a Top Safety Pick + designation is the 2014 Scion TC, although many Toyota models have yet to be evaluated in the small overlap test. Of the Corolla’s compact competitors, Top Safety Pick + models include the 2013 Dodge Dart, the 2013 Ford Focus, the 2013 Honda Civic, and the 2013 Hyundai Elantra.
The Automotive.com report also points out that these structural modifications could result in a weight increase for the Toyota Corolla, and a U.S. Toyota representative reportedly said that this fix could potentially add up to 220 lbs. The 2014 Toyota Corolla currently has a curb weight of 2855 lbs, so if this is the case, the new model could weigh over 3000 lbs. The report speculates that these changes should be ready by the 2015 model year at the latest.