AM Online

Repair costs bumped by bumpers

The crash repair bills of British Motorists are being bumped up unnecessarily by more than £2 billion a year, new research from the Thatcham insurer research centre has shown.

Thatcham says the figures are due to a knock-on effect from the fact there is no effective universal bumper design incorporated in vehicles, meaning an impact of only 6mph can write off a car.

Ten top selling brand new cars were crash tested at the front and rear to assess their bumper performance the results were disappointing of the 20 bumpers tested only one was deemed to be ‘good’, one was ‘acceptable’, seven were rated ‘Marginal’ and 11 ‘poor’.

Matthew Avery, research manager at Thatcham, the motor insurance repair research centre, said: “It is time manufacturers addressed this issue and fitted vehicles with bumpers that bump. “Not only would it knock more than £2 billion from British bills – it would have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment with thousands of cars avoiding being written off.”

Concerns that strong bumpers could injure pedestrians were disproved as the best frontal performer, the Auris, also achieves almost a top score in the Euro NCAP pedestrian safety tests.

The lack of agreed international design and production protocols mean that bumpers are set at different heights and widths – causing chronic override and underride (where one bumper goes over or under the other car’s bumper in a collision.)

To view the full results from Thatcham’s bumper test click here.

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