This is how the new bumper test works

New bumper test method
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I n this winter there was a crash on the streets due to extreme weather conditions running tape. Even in city traffic, the crashes on slippery roads increased. These were mostly harmless in nature, because the majority of rear-end collisions there occur at low speeds due to the nature of the situation - but for many with expensive consequences.

Minor damage becomes a cost trap

Did the person who caused the accident control an Audi Q5 , that's it Financially he would still be relatively light if he slipped into the rear of the vehicle in front. Because the repair of the damaged Audi Q5 vehicle front costs him or his fully comprehensive insurance only just under 1,200 euros. With other off-roaders - for example with the Suzuki Jimny - but it can be up to three times more expensive to repair the damage of a minor accident. This is a phenomenon that can, however, be observed in all vehicle classes.

Bumper test is intended to reveal weaknesses

Christoph Lauterwasser explains why there are enormous differences in repair costs with an identical accident constellation with an impact speed of ten km /h , Head of the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) in Ismaning: 'Optimal protection in the event of collisions can only be achieved if the bumpers of both vehicles are compatible,' says the safety expert. “This is the only way to prevent damage to other vehicle parts in the event of minor rear-end collisions in city traffic.” But in reality, things usually look different. Test.

The result determines the comprehensive insurance classification

He is with the Gesamtverband der deutschenInsurance Industry (GDV) is now a compulsory supplement to the type class placement test that all new models must pass. Depending on the result, the allocation can change by up to two classes - the fully comprehensive premium is cheaper or more expensive. What separates the wheat from the chaff in bumpers? Narrow, too low or too high cross members as well as too rigid elements between cross member and body are shown to be a standard faulty construction in the bumper test. Because if the bumpers do not meet and reduce impact energy, they slide into softer vehicle structures. This causes serious damage to the other party involved in the accident, often without absorbing impact energy.

Bumper test at ten km /h

The perpetrator's car is also usually quite damaged: damage to lamps, radiator, fenders, hood and parts the air conditioning drive up the repair costs. Studies at the AZT already show how well or badly the manufacturers have done their homework when it comes to bumpers: The repair costs for a demolished compact class front, for example, range from around 750 to over 2,700 euros.
To simulate the typical rear-end collision at low speeds , during the bumper test the test person steers at a speed of ten against a bumper-sized barrier - forwards with 455 millimeters, backwards with 405 millimeters of ground clearance. The test can only be passed if the vehicle has sufficiently high, largely overlapping cross members that are connected via so-called crash boxes.

The bumper test meets international standards

“In this way, good bumper solutions that are unnecessary help avoid high repair costs for drivers and insurance companies, ”says Lauterwasser. The Audi Q5 fulfilled this even before the bumper test became mandatory. The new test procedure was developed in an international working group under the leadership of AZT and is recognized as an international standard. It was necessary because bumper weaknesses in the standard repair crash test, which is run at higher speeds, cannot easily be discovered. This procedure was also developed by AZT and adopted internationally as the 'RCAR Low Speed ​​Test Standard'. It has been used in Germany for the type class classification for 20 years - front impact at 15 km /h with 40 percent overlap on a rigid barrier, rear impact of 1,000 kilograms with the same overlap.

However, the repair crash test was tightened in 2004: In a frontal collision, the barrier is tilted ten degrees, anda weight increased to 1,400 kilos hits the rear of the vehicle, which is also inclined by ten degrees, speed and overlap remained the same. According to Lauterwasser, this test constellation is closer to the reality of the accident and more informative for ease of repair.


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