2013 Honda Fit
Parks McCants's picture

Honda launches safety rating damage control via Super Bowl ad

Super Bowl Sunday television audiences found Hollywood tough guy Bruce Willis and Portlandia’s Fred Armisen spreading the word about Honda safety with 50 million viewers just like you.
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In a stroke of advertising genius, Honda performs a bit of safety rating damage control in the wake of last month’s small car “slight overlap evaluation” frontal crash test failure.

The 2014 Fit and all but one competing brand tested in the small “micro- car” sector failed to rate higher than “poor” in the independent crash test. The Chevy Volt rated “fair.”

As reported by Torque News in late January, the Honda Fit had rated in the bottom of the category with the Fiat 500. We don’t find the test results to be surprising when taking into account the distance between the front bumper of the car and the passenger safety cage; thus reducing the frontal impact “ crush zone” of the Fit.

Imagine running your car into a brick wall at 40 mph.

We were waiting for American Honda Motors to respond to the dismal crash test rating. This Sunday they did so in a big way.

While a loving hug between action superstar Bruce Willis and comedian Fred Armisen may seem to be a mismatch at first, the message is resoundingly clear and rather brilliant.

Honda, a company that has sold more than 18 million Civics in North America, places consumer safety as priority # 1. The company philosophy as penned by its founder, evolved around the development of affordable, environmentally low impact products that benefit man-kind. True story.

Honda holds more “top” rated safety vehicle awards than any other North American auto manufacturer, and they come from the same institute that failed the Honda Fit.

In-fact, until the latest rounds of IIHS crash testing, the 2013 Honda Fit was included on the list.

Unfortunately a cloud of doubt has been cast over the 2014 Fit. And, while Honda has designed and will release an “ all new” 2015 Fit; mid-year 2014, it will be an uphill battle for Honda to sell the 100,000 2014 Fits currently in inventory and production for the North America market.

We expect Honda to extend special purchase and 0 interest incentives to the near term buyer as it injects the 2015 model into the market. And yes, they will sell despite this very minor blemish in Honda’s exemplary safety record.


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