Why doesn't Nissan take responsibility for the Quest's crash test failure?



Last year I read an article that these Quests fail the front small overlap crash test. The videos are available showing the dummy drivers’ legs getting crushed. The dealer service managers claimed they didn’t know anything about it. Nissan corporate denied any knowledge and said there is no recall, so they couldn’t help me. The highest “customer-facing” manager would not give me the president’s contact info. When I complained to the owner of the dealership, he said many vehicles fail that test. After checking, I learned that the other brands in the minivan class did pass the test. Why don’t manufacturers take responsibility for this?


The people working at the dealer are not capable of re-engineering your vehicle for safer crash standards and it is unlikely that they could influence the manufacture into making changes.

You have the freedom to choose a vehicle with crash standards that satisfy you.


Thanks. I thought crash test failures would and should be revealed before sale. And i believe that crash test failures should be resolved by the manufacturer.


The sticker on new cars has the crash ratings and that is all the manufacture should have to post. The Insurance tests are in a controlled environment so they may or may not relate to an actual accident. Those results are available to the public on their web site. A pass or failure could changes just by a speed difference or a few degrees difference of impact.

Sorry Keith , but vehicles have never been safer and I think you looking for a problem where there is none.


Thanks very much for the good information. Except that your assumption that I may be looking for controversy is incorrect in my case. I have too much to do for that. I was unaware of the purpose of crash tests and where their results are published. I assumed that any failures would be revealed to everyone and then corrective action is required. Duh? Makes sense to me, yet I acknowledge that I am naiive to shrewd business practices. I bought the Quest at 2 years old from a Nissan dealer so a new car sticker was not avaible with any crash test info. The dealer surely knew of the deficient design. Yes, I understand that many factors play into a crash result, but crash test control standards are set as a baseline for comparison. The Toyota Sienna and Honda Odessey obviously have structures built into their front ends that are stronger. I see that Nissan has discontinued the Quest for 2018. I welcome more thoughts and suggestions. Thanks


Do you realize these tests are performed by an industry group and are not required of the manufacturer? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety runs these tests as a comparison for consumers. The test are not required of the car makers by the government nor are they required to post the results. They are for the consumer to be better informed of the performance for vehicles they wish to buy before they buy one.


Thanks very much for the concise overview on this issue. Everything you write is factual. Dealerships definitely cannot alter the structure of the vehicle to make up for deficiencies in the product that they promote as safe, even as they knowingly become complicit in the scam for profit. From now on, before trusting a dealer to be truthful as an extension of the manufacturer, I will research the insurance institutes’ testing for more complete revelations. Should safety be the priority? Ask any quality systems professional. And insurance companies. But not some auto manufacturers and their dealers because they will just demur.


You’re kidding me right? Scam for profit? Even if a vehicle doesn’t get a 5 star rating in a single component of safety testing (which seems to be your sticking point), it doesn’t mean the vehicle is unsafe in an accident. There are far more factors to consider


Not everyone considers crash safety as being important when making a decision to purchase a car. Price, visual appeal, functionality, reliability and cost of maintenance are usually at the top of the list.

Surely the Quest you bought as a 2 year old used car had some design features and qualities you liked otherwise you would have kept looking?


The ‘small overlap test’ is very new, wasn’t tested just a few years ago. And to meet the test a large amount of metal is added, increasing costs and decreasing mpgs. No free lunch.


I agree with the other posters.

Another example is poor rear visibility. Many (most?) cars have this problem due to design.

this is a safety issue, yet there is no standard, no numerical rating, no recalls.

If you think this is important (as I do) you read CU reports and then select cars that you can consider for purchase.

You don’t purchase a car then complain because the visibility is poor. (actually you can, but it would be futile)


Are you saying that you actually went into a dealership expecting 100% honesty? 'Cause that’s kind of like jumping into an alligator pond and expecting cuddles. :wink:


Thanks for the perspective. I should have been suspicious when the alligator cuddled me! :cry: I naiively assumed that safety issues would be transparent compared to similar vehicles in the class.


Thanks. I understand, and would have gladly given-up some mpg for extra or comparable safety.


After you have bought the vehicle?
That would require a total rebuilding of its structure, and that is not going to happen.


Even when I was in my preschool years, I would chuckle every time that my mother asked the fishmonger, “Is that fish fresh?”. Expecting a car dealership to voluntarily reveal an arcane detail (on a used car) that is not part of any government standard is almost as unrealistic as expecting the fishmonger to admit that his fish isn’t fresh.

Caveat emptor!


And there we found the problem here.
It is up to you- the consumer- to make sure you know what you are buying.

All cars are a cost mixture of safety, style, & performance. to increase in one, the others have to take a hit. You want complete safety- by a NASCAR stockcar with complete rollcage. You’ll get about 4mpg, but be much safer than anything on the road. It will also cost you $200,000 or so for a new one- but you can get your name and picture plastered on the hood. :wink:


The Nissan Quest met all government safety standards for required crash tests when it was manufactured.
The insurance institute comes up with increasingly difficult standards that are NOT mandated by law and then blasts manufacturers of vehicles that don’t pass them.
No matter what car it is, a crash test can always be designed that will fail any particular car . For example, just by increasing the speed or changing the overlap or angle.

I cannot imagine a passenger vehicle that would let the occupants survive a head on crash with a fully loaded 80,000 lb tractor -trailer.
All car design is a compromise and designers can’t take into account standards that didn’t exist when the car was designed.

A good defensive driving course will provide you more safety than differences between vans ever will.

Also, grow up a little, do you expect the baker to tell you doughnuts will make you fat?


A few years ago a new front offset crash test was begun - I am not sure whether by government or industry. There were news reports about the new test, naming some cars that had passed the earlier test and now failed. Among them was the Toyota Camry. Toyota did a quick midyear redesign that passed the new test and among its benefits touted “even safer.” No mention by Toyota in its advertising that their Camry had failed the new test.

Why would they?


Good for them. These standards are NOT that difficult to institute…that’s been proven time and time again. And the cost is minimal. The government mandated rules are a joke. I like the idea of an independent source checking the safety of the vehicles we drive. You can then choose to follow their recommendations or not. I have disregarded a vehicle because of extremely poor safety test. Wouldn’t it been great if this type of independent testing was done in the 70’s when the Ford Pinto was around.