October 2, 2014 / 8:10 PM / 5 years ago

Lincoln MKS sedan scores poorly in safety group's crash test

DETROIT, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co’s Lincoln MKS large luxury sedan received a “poor” rating in an influential U.S. safety group’s crash test.

The driver space in the 2015 MKS was severely limited after the small overlap crash test and the steering column moved 5 inches inward and 6 inches to the right, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which introduced the test in 2012. The poor rating applies to the 2009 through 2015 MKS models.

MKS was one of three models in the large luxury cars segment tested recently by the IIHS, which released the results on Thursday.

The small overlap test was developed by the IIHS after research showed that about 25 percent of serious injuries or deaths occurring in frontal crashes were in small impacts, such as the front of a vehicle making contact with the front of an oncoming car or striking a tree or pole. Such a test is more challenging than the long-standing moderate overlap test that has been conducted by the IIHS since 1995.

As a result of the small overlap test, automakers have started to adjust the design and engineering of their cars to get a better score.

Ford said its vehicles meet or exceed government safety standards in the countries in which they are sold.

“Ford prioritizes tests that focus on occupant protection and provide real world safety benefits,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement. “The 2014 Lincoln MKS is a safe vehicle ... with a structure designed to manage crash energy under a variety of crash conditions.”

The IIHS also tested the 2015 BMW 5 Series, which received a “marginal” rating, and Nissan Motor Co’s 2015 Infiniti Q70, which received a “good” rating. The fourth possible rating in IIHS tests is “acceptable.”

The Hyundai Genesis, Mercedes E-Class four-door sedan, Volvo S80 and Honda Motor Co’s Acura RLX all previously received “good” ratings, the IIHS said.

The IIHS said it plans to test Toyota Motor Corp’s Lexus GS, General Motors Co’s Cadillac CTS and Volkswagen’s Audi A6 early next year. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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