While evaluating the BIOSID advanced side impact dummy in full scale crash tests, we noticed higher than expected abdominal rib deflections. This finding led to a search to determine whether these deflections were an artifact of the dummy or whether the dummy was indicating that some portion of the vehicle side, in the area of the armrest, was laterally stronger than expected. Many armrests/trim panels were procured and both quasi-statically and dynamically tested using newly-devised test procedures. A team was formed to evaluate armrest/trim panel construction and to develop a biomechanically-based laboratory test procedure to help determine the effects of design and material changes. This team continues to function and a spin-off team is seeking to develop analytical predictive tools to allow speedier development of armrest/trim panels attuned to the new test procedure. At the same time, other procedures were developed by the team to help the armrest area remain a durable and functional part of the overall vehicle.