Small Bang: Car Crash at 6MPH Could Cost As Much As $3,000 To Fix

(CNN) -- Drivers of new midsize cars will take a big financial hit if they get into traffic accidents even at speeds as low as 3 mph, a new study found.

A crash test study of midsize cars showed that even at low speeds of up to 6 mph the cheapest someone would have to pay to get their car fixed is about $871.

And some vehicles repairs cost close to $3,000 after these extremely low speed crashes, according to the study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

"Consumers buy midsize cars for practical reasons. There's nothing practical about a $1,000-plus re-pair bill after a minor bump in commuter traffic," says Joe Nolan, senior vice president of the institute.

Nolan's organization found in its study that the 2009 Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6 and Nissan Maxima performed better than their 2007 predecessors. But still none of the 17 mid-size sedans tested earned the top rating of "good" in tests to determine how their bumpers would hold up in fender benders.

Of the six most-popular vehicles tested, the Mazda 6 scored highest, receiving an "acceptable" rating. Of the remaining five, the Accord and Sonata were scored "marginal." The Maxima, Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion were graded "poor."

In the test the cars are rammed into steel barriers designed to mimic the impact of a car bumper at speeds of 3 to 6 mph.

"Although midsize car bumpers still allow way too much damage in minor impacts, it's encouraging that some manufacturers are designing better ones," Nolan says.

While Honda, Hyundai and Mazda had made improvements in bumpers, others companies had not, the study found.

The most expensive car to fix in the study was a 2009 Pontiac G-6 which costs $2,932, the study found.

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