Chrysler worked hard to try to get the Fiat 500 ready for American crash tests. Apparently its remedies didn’t work. The little Fiat got knocked in its federal tests.
The Fiat 500 was rated three stars overall, out of five, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It picked up a respectable four stars on both front and rollover crashes, but it picked up only two stars on side impacts. It didn’t help that the ratings came about the same time that the 2012 Toyota Camry, a much larger car, was getting the coveted five stars.
Engineers added extra plates and lots of little changes to try to create a 500 that would ace its safety tests. There is a fair amount riding on the car. It is the first of what Chrysler and Fiat, which controls the Michigan-based automaker, hope will be a string of Italian designs plying American roads.
Autoblog points out that only two other vehicles are rated three stars — the Ford Escape and Dodge Caliber — and both are due to be replaced soon by improved models