2010 Mitsubishi Galant Problems

UPDATE: February 12, 2010. The misleading Mitsubishi page on 2010 Galant's safety claim ("one of the safest cars on the road today" has been changed. Enjoy the screenshot of the original page on January 20, 2010 when this article first appeared. 2010 Mitsubishi Galant False Safety Claim

Original heading was: "You wanted a great value. So we built the Galant." followed by text: "With six airbags, Active Stability Control and a body structure stregthened using RISE - Mitsubishi's Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution - Galant is one of the safest cars on the road today. With more standard features and technology than any Galant ever made -- like SE's included navigation system with rear-view backup camera that offers an estimated $1,700 in savings -- it's also one of the best values in its class."

Since Mitsubishi Motors might change its Galant page again, we have taken the screenshot on the new page today and enjoy this too and look for the important differences.

2010 Mitsubishi Galant Misleading Safety Claim Changed

New heading (as on February 12, 2010) is "Apparently, you can have it all. For less." followed by next text: "The 2010 Galant offers more standard features, more technology and more creature comforts than any Galant ever made. Which is saying something, considering all it had to offer before. Galant comes with a DVD-based navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free, Auto A?C, ultra-comfortable seats and 18-inch wheels -- all standard. Is it safe? The NHTSA certainly thinks so, as evidenced by Galant's top ratings in frontal and side crash tests."

Our note: Absence is the mention of IIHS's rigorous crash tests including rear crash tests. Rear collisions are more common in real life and IIHS, won't call a car safe that has not passed its rear impact test. Galant scored below Acceptable on that test. Regarding bragging about 'top ratings' on NHTSA's test, it is quite rare to find a modern car that does not get its 'top ratings' nowadays. 2010 Galant is in fact an aging vehicle like its chubby 'sports car' sibling that are just not competitive with modern offerings from other major car manufacturers.

January 20, 2010. Ultra-conservative 'Capitalist Tool' Forbes magazine lists 2010 Galant on its list of Most Dangerous Vehicles of 2010! Please see 2010 Mitsubishi Galant on Forbes' Most Dangerous Veicles of 2010 list."Automakers with models that made our list of the most dangerous vehicles for 2010 were given the opportunity to respond...Mitsubishi Motors declined to comment."

Forbes' criteria: "Our list was compiled using crash-test results from the IIHS using 2010 model-year vehicles. After each crash, the test dummies are checked for trauma in 28 body regions for front crashes and 37 regions for side crashes, all of which results in a rating. We awarded values for front, side and rear ratings, with more points awarded for better results ("good" received 4 points, "acceptable" received 3 points, etc.), for a maximum possible total of 12 points. The cars on our list scored the lowest number of total points in their segment. We broke ties by docking points according to occupant trauma ratings within each category (front, side and rear impacts)."

MitsubishiCars.com on 2010 Mitsubishi Galant Review - "SAFEST"

On its web site Mitsubishi Motors USA claimed that 2010 Mitsubishi "Galant is one of the safest cars on the road today.". It also claims that 'Safety always comes standard.' Very impressive indeed! Mitsubishicars.com also mention that 'It's also one of the best value in its class.' Indeed!

Mitsubishi went on to list its impressive safety features: "2010 Galant Safety starts with the Galant chassis. Extremely rigid unibody construction with floor crossmembers, high-rigidity side sills, side-impact door beams and front and rear crumple zones provide an excellent architecture for Galant's advanced dual-stage front SRS airbags as well as front and rear curtain airbags you will feel safe everywhere you go. What's more, LATCH system anchors and tethers for child seats simplify the installation process and keep child seats anchored more securely in vehicles.
Galant engineers realized that the best safety features are the ones that help you avoid an accident in the first place. That's why the Galant comes with rack-and-pinion steering, fully independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Active Stability Control (ASC). All told, the Galant is engineered to keep you driving safely for a long time.
Galant offers standard advanced dual-stage front SRS airbags, driver and passenger side-impact airbags, and front and rear side-curtain airbags on all models. Sensors evaluate the deceleration during an impact, the position of the driver's seat, and the weight on the front passenger's seat to provide the appropriate level of front airbag deployment." Wow!

Puzzled by this extreme contradiction between Forbes' claim and Mitsubishi's claim, where one claims that 2010 Galant is most dangerous and another claims that Mitsubishi Galant is the safest, we checked Mtubishi's web site more. Please see below.

2009 Mitsubishi Galant : Powerful, luxurious and safe. In no particular order.

Next we checked with the "authority" - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It's the research arm of auto insurance companies and are no anti-corporation entities.It apparently is more rigorous than NHTSA

IIHS: Mitsubishi Galant performs mostly poor or marginal on Rear Crash Protection Tests

"The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses, deaths, injuries, and property damage from crashes on the nation's highways."

IIHS's description of head restraints/rear crash protection test:

For each seat/head restraint, rear-end crash protection is an assessment of occupant protection against neck injury in rear impacts at low to moderate speeds. Although such injuries usually aren't serious, they occur frequently.
The overall ratings are based on a two-step evaluation. In the first step the geometry (distance behind and below the head of a seated average-size man) is rated good, acceptable, marginal, or poor. Seats with good or acceptable geometry then are subjected to a dynamic test simulating the forces in a stationary vehicle that's rear-ended by another vehicle of the same weight going 20 mph. Seat/head restraints with marginal or poor geometry aren't tested dynamically because they cannot protect taller people in rear-end crashes. These seats are rated poor overall.
In the dynamic tests measurements are recorded on a dummy (BioRID) representing an average-size man. BioRID is designed specifically for rear-end testing at low to moderate speeds. The dynamic ratings are derived from two seat design parameters (acceleration of the dummy's torso and time from impact initiation to head restraint contact with the dummy's head) plus tension and shear forces recorded on the dummy's neck. Overall ratings are based on both geometric measurements and dynamic results.

It found 2010 Mitsubishi Galant (with manual cloth seats) to be overall Marginal - below Acceptable, or Unacceptable in its Rear Crash Protection tests.

Previous years of Mitsubishi Galant fared still worse. Their overall rear crash ratings of ALL Galants is as follows:

2010 Mitsubishi Galant - MARGINAL
2009 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR
2008 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR
2007 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR
2006 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR
2005 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR
2004 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR
2003 Mitsubishi Galant - MARGINAL
2002 Mitsubishi Galant - MARGINAL
2001 Mitsubishi Galant - MARGINAL
1999 Mitsubishi Galant - MARGINAL
1997 Mitsubishi Galant - ACCEPTABLE
1995 Mitsubishi Galant - POOR

Please note that Galants never received GOOD rating, back in 1997 an ACCEPTABLE rating, and mostly POOR (7 years) and MARGINAL (5 years).

Mitsubishi Galant fails IIHS' Rear Crash Impact Test?

To double check, we verified with IIHS's TOP SAFETY PICKS of 2010. Its criteria for selection is: "To determine crashworthiness how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash the Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. To earn TOP SAFETY PICK for 2010 a vehicle must have good ratings in all four Institute tests. In addition, the winning vehicles must offer electronic stability control."

We saw 27 vehicles selected for this honor. Usual suspects like Volvo, Audi, Honda, Subaru were there. So preent were many other car manufacturers. However we couldn't find a single 2010 Mitsubishi model in that, let alone 2010 Mitsubishi Galant.

Verdict of IIHS, Forbes, mitsubishisucks.com: 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is NOT safe. Mitsubishisucks.com thinks that Mitsubishi Motors North America is knowingly and intentional making false claims about its 2010 Galant likely to mislead potential customers and risk their lives.

Informing FTC, congressperson, lawyers...

If you want to report to FTC about this fraud, FTC Complaint Site is a good starting point. Mitsubishi's contact info is as follows: Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
PO Box 6400
Cypress
California, 90630
Phone: (888)648-7820
Web Site: http://www.mitsubishicars.com

A sample complaint can be:
http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/galant/10/index.do describes 2010 Galant model cars as: "Galant is one of the safest cars on the road today." However, industry standard IIHS http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx , lists 27 safest vehicles of 2010 and Mitsubishi Galant is not in that list. Forbes magazine http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/20/dangerous-2010-vehicles-lifestyle-vehicles-crash-tests-auto -safety_slide_4.html describes 2010 Mitsubishi Galant as one of Most Dangerous Cars of 2010. IIHS's rear crash test http://www.iihs.org/ratings/head_restraints/headrestraints.aspx?mitsubishi rates 2010 Galant to be overall Marginal (below acceptable).
Seems like Mitsubishi is making safety claims likely to mislead potential car buyers and risk their lives in auto accidents. Since IIHS's tests are well known in the industry, I believe that this misleading claim is intentional.

Note: A few descriptions are taken from IIHS.org, Forbes.com, and Mitsubishicars.com sites. Safety being very serious issue, we decided not to rephrae or summarize and present the full versions. All are for illustration purpose and respective sites should be visited to get the full picture.