New crash tests show that pickups with some of the oldest designs have problems protecting the passengers in the front seat.
By comparison, the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra were, according to IIHS, "edge protection" for the passengers in the front seat, with the right front corner of their truck hitting an other vehicle or vehicle at 40 mph ,
Dan Flores, a spokesman for General Motors, says the automaker is constantly working to improve the safety of its trucks. "GM designs our vehicles to protect the occupants in a variety of accidents, including impact on front, offset, angle, side and rear impacts," he said.
The IIHS rated the Toyota with "bad" tundra.
A spokesman for Toyota told CNBC, "Safety and reliability of its vehicles have top priority." He added, "We continue to look for room for improvement to exceed customer expectations, especially in new tests, such as small overlaps of IIHS (small overlap) for pickups."
Why may Some of the most popular pickups have difficulty protecting occupants on some of the most common front-end collisions?
The IIHS said part of the problem was that some pickups had older designs that did not demand the protection of the passenger so much today.
"We are pretty confident that these pickup trucks will provide better protection for the passenger when they are redesigned," Zuby said.
It's hard to know how much the tests will influence the decisions of the truck buyer.
The sale of pickups has increased dramatically over the last five years as more and more Americans have opted for a truck instead of driving a car. According to Edmunds' auto website, sales in the US rose 4.3 percent last year, while total car sales were only marginally higher.