Honda has Made a New Commitment to Safety…Is it Just a Marketing Effort to Raise Sales?

Japan’s number 2 automaker, Honda has always been known for its fuel-efficient and reliable vehicles. The New York Times has posted an article about Honda’s recent commitment to safety as well. "It wants to join Volvo as an automaker best known for safety."

Recently you may have noticed the increase in Honda commercials boasting about the safety of their vehicles. Honda wants to promote safety as part of their public image and they are doing so with their campaign known as "Safety for Everyone".

In order to achieve its new safety goals, the company re-engineered the frames of their vehicles to better absorb the impact of a crash. The system called ACE (advanced compatibility engineering) is now used in most of their vehicles. The last two models without it are the S2000 and Accord (the Accord will get the ACE body structure with the all-new 2008 model.)

"The design distributes the energy from a crash throughout the entire frame of the front end, not just across the bumpers and side panels. In a collision, the ACE body crumples upward, stopping a larger vehicle from crushing it."

The new design has paid off in recent crash tests, as Honda has received the coveted "five star" rating from the NHTSA. The crash results have exceeded those of many other competitors including GM, Chrysler and Toyota. Ford and Hyundai are two of the automakers that join Honda with the five-star rating on some of their vehicles.

In addition to the new body structure, most Hondas come standard with front and side-curtain airbags, and antilock brakes. Most of their competitors only offer those safety features as options, if they even offer them at all.

The main question remains, will Honda’s new emphasis on safety contribute to more sales. Other companies have achieved the same ratings, but are not boasting about it. As more consumers switch to smaller cars, are they going to look towards Honda, who is now known for its fuel-efficiency and high safety standards?

Full Story: The New York Times