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Better steel credited for safety gains

by Chris Vander Doelen on

Using more high-strength steel in its products has been credited by Fiat Chrysler for helping achieve its latest “Top Safety Pick” insurance rating.

The 2017 Jeep Compass is the latest FCA vehicle to be awarded a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Two weeks ago the Alfa Romeo Giulia received the same designation.

High-strength steel in body structure of all-new 2017 Jeep Compass exceeds 65% (PRNewsfoto/FCA US LLC)

The Compass won the highest possible ratings for its crashworthiness and its collision-warning technology, plus “good” ratings in five IIHS crashworthiness tests.

Mike Manley, head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global, credits the designation partly to the company’s increasing use of high-strength steel in the Compass and throughout FCA’s lineup over the past five years.

“The all-new Jeep Compass benefits from high-strength steel content that exceeds 65 per cent,” Manley said in a release.  FCA has increased its use of high-strength steel and hot-stamped steel by 50 percent since 2012, the company said.

The five crash tests are: a rollover simulation, a rear-ender severe enough to induce whiplash, a small-offset frontal impact, moderate-offset frontal impact, and a side impact simulation with a large SUV or pickup truck.

The anti-collision system praised by the IIHS is an available option called Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus which features a “fusion” of both radar and camera sensors.

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; he was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.

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