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SAFETY | 10 out of 10
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Not yet tested
The Volt doesn't currently make any synthetic noise outside the car to alert pedestrians of its presence, as the Nissan Leaf does.
The Leaf emits an artificial, gear-whine-like noise at low speed (inaudible in the cabin), as well as a "beep-beep" when the car's in reverse.
Wall Street Journal
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have both given the 2012 Nissan Leaf top ratings for safety. The NHTSA rated the Leaf at five stars, and the IIHS deemed it a Top Safety Pick, for its performance in a variety of crash tests.
In the company's own tests, its lithium-ion battery pack suffered no damage in its 40-mph side offset crashes, and like any major carmaker, Nissan will have crashed dozens if not hundreds of prototype Leafs to ensure that every possible kind of accident is covered.
The 2012 Leaf comes with six airbags: for front-seat riders, there are bags in the dashboard and the sides of the car, as well as side-curtain airbags that cover the entire window area front and rear.
The Leaf also has the standard array of electronic safety systems, including anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, braking assist, traction control, and a monitoring system for the pressure in all four tires.
The 2012 Nissan Leaf offers top-drawer safety, according to crash-test scores.