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(08:30 March 11, 2004)
GM plans quick bumper fix for new Malibu to bolster safety rating


By HARRY STOFFER | Automotive News

WASHINGTON - General Motors quickly will re-engineer the bumpers on its new Chevrolet Malibu because the car did poorly in insurance industry tests.

GM is banking heavily on the Malibu to revive its car lineup and compete in the mid-sized sedan segment, which is dominated by the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

GM's bumper redesign reflects a change in attitude toward tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research organization for auto insurers.

When GM vehicles did poorly in previous institute bumper tests, company officials downplayed their significance. They said the tests occurred in a "laboratory environment" and were intended mainly to lower insurance payouts.

"It's a welcome change in tone," said Adrian Lund, the institute's COO.

GM spokesman Jim Schell declined last week to say when the Malibu bumper revisions will be ready. He said production changes will occur as soon as the engineering is completed.

"GM will be working as quickly as possible on this," Schell said.

Institute officials said GM told them the changes should be in production by June.

The quick response is reminiscent of action taken by Mazda Motor Corp. in 1999 when the rear bumper of its newly designed Protege scored poorly in institute tests.

Lund said Lexus also made quick changes in the LS 400 after its bumpers performed badly in 1997.

The institute puts vehicles through four 5-mph bumper tests: front into a flat barrier, front into an angled barrier, rear into a flat barrier and rear into a pole. Then it estimates repair costs.

The Malibu was second worst among six mid-sized cars tested in the recent round. Its combined repair costs were $3,807.

The institute gave the car a rating of "poor" on a scale that consists of good, acceptable, marginal and poor.

The institute reported that when the Malibu's front end was angled into a barrier, the bumper cover tore, the body was driven out of line and a fender buckled. When the car was backed into a flat barrier, bumper mountings were driven into body panels.

The Acura TSX also rated "poor" in the tests.

"Marginal" ratings went to the Suzuki Verona, Nissan Maxima and Acura TL.

The Mitsubishi Galant earned the only "acceptable" rating. In earlier tests, segment leaders Camry and Accord got acceptable ratings.

Full Article Here
 

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This is an oversight on GM's part, but I am glad that they are responding quickly and with the right attitude. I hope that this does not hurt the slowly growing sales.
 

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I am not sure that they will change the exterior of the bumper, the fix will most likey invisible once the bumper cover is on. As for an oversite, I am not sure about that. Like most other vehicals its about styling and and a strong safety cage, not making repairs as cheap as possible.
 

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Does anyone know if the bumper fix will be retrofittable to earlier Malibus, like the Maxxes that were built back in January, 2004? I have one of those and while generally a good car it would be nice to get better bumpers on it!
 

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Originally posted by Butta@Mar 11 2004, 07:16 PM


"GM is banking heavily on the Malibu to revive its car lineup"
:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:
Well, then Why did they Make the Damn Thing SO UGLY!
 
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