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Coda EV Gets Less Than Perfect Safety Rating

Coda Automotive is not publicly reporting its sale figures, but anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers are quite low. Despite offering a bigger battery than most of the competition, the company faces big challenges in overcoming its drab style—and the perception that a China-sourced EV is up to par in terms of build quality. It won’t help the company that the car received only two stars in its most recent frontal impact safety testing.

The Coda Sedan scored a high-ranking of five stars for side impact and rollover testing—but the low frontal impact results reduces its overall rating to four stars. Both the 2012 Nissan LEAF and 2013 Chevrolet Volt earned overall 5-star ratings, as well as other top safety ratings.

When I drove the Coda for a week earlier this year, one of the biggest problems was what auto engineers call “NVH” or noise, vibration and harshness. The whine from the electric motor was annoying—and gave the impression of overall lack of quality. The blemish from a relatively low safety rating could further undermine consumer acceptance.


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