I was talking to someone today about mine. I believe it is ABS plastic. Its pretty sturdy...not a metal bar...I do think it would help in a crash though. The bottom mount, plus it being flush against the bumper is good. The top on the other hand...If you hit something high, I think the top end would fail. I have seen these go for $400 plus in the same condition. I am actually tempted to go pick it up...but, shipping it out to someone else would be a nightmare and I would have to sit on it until someone local wanted it.