Wednesday, April 10, 2024

soft exteriors of cars aren't sturdy in a crash

From Eric Peters at

Cars used to be able to take a hit. They weren’t as “safe,” it’s true. But the price you’re paying for that – literally – comes in the mail every six months or once a year, whenever the insurance mafia sends you the bill for it.

The bill – which has gone up by 26 percent on average over just the past 12 months – is based on the potential repair costs of fixing your late-model vehicle. Or the other guy’s. It doesn’t matter.

What does is that most of the cars on the road are soft on the outside. Their exterior panels are almost wafer thin, especially hoods. Raise yours and see. It is probably supported by a pair of small struts – because that’s all that’s needed to support a wafer-thin piece of metal you could probably bend by hand. You can imagine how much it will bend if you run into something.

“Bend” isn’t the right word, either. Bends can usually be fixed.

What will happen is the wafer-thin hood will fold up like a piece of cardboard – which might actually be preferable as hood material since cardboard is a lot cheaper to replace than a piece of wafer-thin stamped steel or aluminum.

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