Safety, what is it worth? As an OEM you obviously have to produce a car to a safety standard that will allow it onto the road legally. But, how much should you invest in producing a safe car? Engineering hours aren’t cheap, and making a safe car takes lots and lots of them.
The new Subaru Forester is the first of around 13 vehicles to get a “good” rating on new, more stringent, IHSA safety test. One has to wonder though, for Subaru, was it worth it? How many fewer cars would Subaru sell with a “4 star” rating vs a “5 star” rating?
Decisions like these are faced by automakers every day. Quality, in any area, is not cheap. What people see and touch is often prioritized above what is underneath. For example, would you rather buy a “5 star” safe car with paint that will people would bet it’s the latter. l after 2-3 years, or a “4 star” car with flawless, show quality, paint. For most people, Automakers make decisions like this, although maybe not to this exact level.
Further complicating this decision is market considerations. Safety will rank as a higher priority for a new minivan buyer then for the buyer of that hot new sports car. All of these is just one additional thing automakers must consider.