Wednesday, January 27, 2010

While watching television last night, I watched a commercial for a car company. The commercial showed the frame of a car crashing into a wall, and highlighted the crumple zones. The crumple zone, they said, crumples over the engine compartment and not in the passenger area. Impressive.

The more I thought about it, the more it didn't make sense. In the commercial, the engine compartment collapses by about half. If that engine compartment is like the one on my car, the engine fills the space. In fact, you almost have to remove the engine to change belts. So if the engine compartment collapses in half, the engine gets pushed halfway into the passenger compartment, right? In a crash, that would shatter my legs. But at least the part by the door will stay straight. Wouldn't you design the engine compartment to not collapse?

So I have to ask: Is that ad spinning a design flaw and making it a safety feature?

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