New crash tests of full-size pickup trucks are raising troubling questions about the safety of the popular Ram 1500.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which released its latest round of test results on Tuesday, assigned the Ram 1500 an overall rating of "marginal" — its second-worst of four designations.
What's more, the pickup's structure earned the worst-possible "poor" rating, following its performance in tests that replicate small overlap front crashes. In those tests, the front corner of a vehicle hits another vehicle or pole. It is one of the most common and deadly accidents.
"In this crash mode we want to maintain the structural integrity of the occupant cabin," said Raul Arbelaez, vice president of the Institute's Vehicle Research Center. "We had [with Ram] more intrusion than we'd like to see, and that led to elevated injury measures on the dummy's lower extremities."
In response to the findings, Ram's parent company Fiat Chrysler said its vehicles meet or exceed all applicable motor-vehicle safety standards.
"Our vehicles are designed for real-world performance and no single test determines overall, real-world vehicle safety," spokesman Eric Mayne said.