The 2015 Honda Fit subcompact just recently went on sale, but it's already received a significant update.

Honda has strengthened the bumper-beam welds, and now it will retrofit the stronger front bumper bar to roughly 12,000 of the earliest-production Fits.

The redesigned 2015 Fit garnered an "Acceptable" rating in the small-overlap frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

That's an improvement over the "Poor" rating the previous-generation model got--but the 2015 Fit only achieved that rating on its second try.

An early production Fit tested in March received a "Marginal" score, reports The New York Times, so Honda redesigned the welds to be tougher and sent the Fit back to be retested.

2015 Honda Fit - First Drive

2015 Honda Fit - First Drive

In the small-overlap test--meant to replicate a collision with the corner of another vehicle or a fixed object such as a utility pole or tree--a rigid barrier strikes 25 percent of the car's front end on the driver's side, at 40 mph.

The bumper beam of the early Fit--a steel bar behind the plastic bumper cover--broke off on the passenger's side during the early part of the first test, the IIHS said.

That caused more of the crash energy to be absorbed by the driver's side than if it had could have been distributed through both sides of the car.

Honda reinforced the welds holding the beam to the rest of the chassis, and it didn't break free in the second test.

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In addition to implementing the fix on the production line, Honda will replace bumper beams on the roughly 12,000 2015 Fits that have already sold.

The work will be performed by dealers free of charge, and should take about 30 minutes, according to the company.

Because Honda did not implement the change until June 6, the IIHS says the Acceptable small-overlap frontal crash test rating only applies to cars built after that date.

Fit owners can contact dealers to see if their cars need the update, and Honda will notify owners by mail in September.

Customers can also call 1-800-999-1009 and choose option 4.


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