Chevrolet Malibu Earns Top Safety Pick+ Designation
The Chevrolet Malibu, a midsize moderately priced car, has earned the 2014 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award after structural changes improved its performance in the Institute's challenging small overlap front crash test.
In addition to a good small overlap rating, the 2014 Malibu also has good ratings for moderate overlap front protection, side protection, roof strength and head restraints and seats. Its optional forward collision warning system earns it a basic rating for front crash prevention.
For the 2014 model year, Chevrolet modified the Malibu's front structure and door sill to improve small overlap performance. The 2013 Malibu rated marginal in the test.
In the latest small overlap test, the driver's space was maintained well, and injury measures recorded on the driver dummy indicated low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity. The dummy's head made good contact with the front airbag, which stayed in position during the crash, and the side curtain airbag deployed to protect the head from contact with side structures.
The Institute added the small overlap evaluation to its testing lineup in 2012. In the crash, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. It replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object like a tree or a utility pole.
To qualify for Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle must earn a good or acceptable rating for small overlap protection, a good rating in the Institute's other four tests, and a basic, advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
Does your vehicle have any open recalls? Just enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's online recall look-up tool.
If you are an NCCC member, don't forget to register your vehicles for custom auto recall alerts for instant notification of for instant notification of new recalls.
It's Time To Bury the 3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth And Save Money
Don't throw away your good money on unneeded oil changes! Most manufacturers today recommend longer oil changes, such as 6,000 miles, due to improved engine technology, better oils and a better understanding of how oils work. Are you changing your oil more often than is necessary?
Do You Need Full Coverage Automobile Insurance or Only Liability?
Readers have been looking for ways to cut back on costs and have been looking to make those cuts in auto insurance. The main issue then becomes whether to have full coverage or only liability coverage on the vehicle. Before you drop full coverage auto insurance, you'll want to do some thinking.
Should You Always Trust CARFAX Vehicle History Reports? The Short Answer is No.
If you've ever purchased or looked into purchasing a used vehicle, chances are good that you've either seen or at least heard of CARFAX, a service that provides historical information on used vehicles. But just how reliable is the information that CARFAX reports provide? They are only as good as the information that is reported.
Don't Buy 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinder, Frontier & Xterra Vehicles
We are urging consumers to avoid purchasing model year 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinder, Frontier and Xterra vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission due to a potential defect that could cost thousands of dollars to repair and put the vehicle occupants' safety at risk.