(WXYZ) - Some luxury cars perform poorly in new frontal crash tests, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Researchers tested eleven 2012 model luxury cars, but only three received good or acceptable ratings.
The new study analyzed results from the "frontal small overlap test". It's the first test of its kind to measure the impact from the front corner of the car when the vehicle hits a fixed object, such as a tree, pole or another car. Cars in this study were traveling at 40 miles per hour before impact.
Researchers found the main problem with luxury cars in this test related to the side air bags. In many cases, the air bags did not inflate fast enough or did not extend far enough to properly protect occupants inside the car.
Cars that received a good or acceptable rating include: the Acura TL, Volvo S60 and Infiniti G.
Cars that received marginal ratings include: the Acura TSX, BMW 3 Series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC.
Cars that received poor ratings include: the Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350.
Marginal or poor ratings indicate that a car would not provide adequate protection in a crash.
Mercedes released a statement in response to this study, saying "As a leader in automotive safety, we have full confidence in the protection that the C-Class affords its occupants -- and less confidence in any test that doesn't reflect that."
Toyota Motor Co., which owns the Lexus brand, also responded to the study. "With this new test, the Institute has raised the bar again and we will respond to this challenge as we design new vehicles," Toyota said.
The IIHS plans to change its criteria for next year's Top Safety Picks to include the new frontal small overlap test.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
You hear about the appeal of rounder rear-ends in songs like Bootilicious by Destiny’s Child. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Nikki Minaj, and Jennifer Lopez are also praised for their bigger back-sides.
The Motor City Comic Con brings tons of celebrities from the worlds of comics and popular culture to Detroit.
An elderly driver plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Saturday parade in a small Virginia mountain town and investigators were looking into whether he suffered a medical emergency before the accident.