Nightly News | August 14, 2012
>>> the auto insurance industry is out tonight with the results of some new crash tests and these are meant to re-create real world accident conditions. and many of the popular luxury cars on the market didn't pass this new test. even though they do meet government safety standards . our report on this tonight from nbc's tom costello.
>>> the insurance industry 's newest crash test is meant to re-create an accident in which the driver hits a pole or another car, but not a full frontal hit where the entire car absorbs the impact. instead, only 25% of the driver's side is hilt. it's called a small overlap crash.
>> each year about 10,000 people die in front crashes. and we estimated that 20% to 25% of them involve small overlap.
>> reporter: here's why, the engine block is where the crash force is absorbed. if it misses all of that, the crash force comes directly into the front seat. a small overlap crash on the right compared to the crash on the left that's more centered. the damage on the small overlap can be far more devastating. it happened to holland mangioni in virginia, she suffered a concussion, fractured teeth bone and teeth. an eye laceration and deep head laceration.
>> i don't think it was just hitting glass. i think it was hitting something hard tt did that. it was pretty deep.
>> reporter: in this new crash test , only three of 11 mid sized luxury cars earnedood or acceptable ratings, the acura, volvo and infinitinfinity. four cars earned marginal marks while the audi, mercedes and lexus all earned poor marks.
>> the pillar pushed in toward the driver, the front wheel pushed into the occupant compartment.
>> reporter: toyota, lexus and audi say they'll work to meet the newest safety standards . the insurance industry has raised the bar. tom costello, nbc news, washington.