A 2012 Chevy Sonic undergoes frontal offset crash testing. Image: GM Corp.Enlarge Photo
In 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revamped how they evaluate vehicles for safety ratings. Since then, only a handful of vehicles have been tested, and most didn’t fare as well as they had under previous testing guidelines.
For 2012, NHTSA will be crash-testing 74 vehicles, including 42 passenger cars, 22 SUVs and crossovers, two minivans and eight pickup trucks. By the agency’s accounting, this will yield consumer safety data on 81 percent of the model year 2012 passenger vehicles sold in the United States.
Rollover testing, some of which has already been conducted, will provide rollover-specific safety data on 92 percent of the 2012 vehicles available in the United States. The NHTSA will also begin advising drivers which vehicles come equipped with crash avoidance technologies such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning or both.
The list of vehicles to be tested includes such perpetual best sellers as the 2012 Chevy Silverado (in 2500 Series), the 2012 Ford F-150 Supercab, the 2012 Toyota Camry and the 2012 Ford Explorer. Even electric vehicles from Coda, Ford and Mitsubishi have been picked for crash testing in 2012, and the list of hybrids to be evaluated now includes the 2012 Toyota Prius v, the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid and the 2012 Honda CR-Z.
The NHTSA will run validation testing on vehicles equipped with lane-departure warning systems and forward-collision warning systems including the 2012 BMW 328i, the 2012 Volvo S60 and the 2012 Chevy Equinox, to name just a few. This marks the first time that the agency will evaluate a manufacturer's anti-collision technology.
You’ll find the NHTSA press release, complete with a comprehensive listing of vehicles to be tested, here (PDF document link).