Toyota stamped their feet earlier claiming the IIHS Top Safety Pick awards were "extreme and misleading." Now, Russ Rader of the IIHS responds, saying, basically, Toyota can put its cars where its mouth is.
Well, Russ didn't actually say that. He's too nice to say something like that. But, what he does say seems to refute Toyota's inference that IIHS selectively choose certain vehicles for testing and the insinuation that the IIHS was trying to mislead the public by only selecting three cars to fail an "extreme" test. Russ tells us
"Toyota was notified in January that roof strength would be a new test. The IIHS asked automakers to flag any vehicles they'd like to have included. Toyota had plenty of opportunity to flag other Toyota, Lexus or Scion models — including being present at roof strength tests at the IIHS facility — but choose not to. So IIHS assumed that there were no models that met the new guidelines. If there are other vehicles Toyota would want to include they were able to submit them at that time or at any time in the process — including right now."
So basically, bring it Toyota, don't sing it.
This doesn't refute Toyota's other contention that the new test is "extreme." As we said before, we're not sure whether or not the new roof-crush test is extreme, but we will point out again that not only did other automakers have vehicles that passed it, but the 'yota Camry passed it as well. We'll also reiterate we're not sure how far the argument of "it was too hard" will go with consumers and the general public.
Toyota would probably do more to show it stands by their vehicles ability to pass this new roof-crush test by flagging their entire lineup to allow the IIHS to test it. Unless, of course, they know the vehicles won't pass — which, in essence, proves the IIHS point.