Drivers of posh rides, beware: All but three of 11 2012 luxury vehicles failed a new crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group created a test that simulated a vehicle crashing into an object, such as another car, head-on on the driver's side, reports the Los Angeles Times. About 25% of the cars' front ends were rammed into a 5-foot high barrier while driving at 40mph. Brand names such as Audi, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz received "poor" ratings, while Lincoln, BMW, and Volkswagen models did only slightly better, receiving "marginal" ratings.
Drivers of the Acura TL and the Volvo S60 have less to worry about—those models received "good" ratings. But researchers say that automakers need to focus on their study when designing new models, as head-on crashes on the driver's side of the vehicle are common and deadly. Drivers of less expensive vehicles should be concerned, too. Lower-end models haven't been tested yet, but a Consumer Reports rep says that if luxury cars are failing the new test, it's likely that more affordable vehicles would as well. (Read more US automakers stories.)