BMWs are a pain in the neck

30 November 2005

Head restraint testingThe non-profit Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre – more widely known by the name of the nearest town, Thatcham - carries out research designed to reduce the cost of motor insurance claims. For consumers, the welcome spin-off can be better automotive products that help to prevent thefts and injuries, ranging from immobilisers to better bumpers.

It recently completed a study into how effective seats and head restraints are at preventing whiplash.

It has tested a huge variety of models and ranked each as poor, marginal, acceptable, or good, noting whether the restraints actively move during a crash to offer improved support.

Some results are very surprising: out of 10 tests, BMW scores none at the good level, two at acceptable, two at marginal, and a whopping six models at poor. If you drive a 3-Series or X5, consider buying a neck brace. And even those buyers forking out for the seat upgrade and opting for powered active head restraints in their X5 may be alarmed to see that it still gets a big thumbs down, rated as poor.

Hyundai Getz and Sonata drivers, meanwhile, enjoy budget active head restraints that actually work and are rated as good.

Worth reading if you’re buying a new car and value your neck.

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