Consumers Win With New Government Crash Test Standards

August 5, 2010

Consumers Win With New Government Crash Test Standards
The gold standard that consumers use when looking to buy the safest cars on the market just got better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new rating system that includes tougher crash tests and a single overall safety score for each vehicle. The new testing program will also include information on new technologies, including advanced crash avoidance systems such as lane departure and forward collision warnings.

2011 Testing
The NHTSA has released a list of 2011 vehicles that will be tested under its new 5-star rating system. The list of 55 vehicles includes:

- 24 passenger cars
- 20 sport utility vehicles
- 9 pickup trucks
- 2 vans

An NHTSA spokesperson said it will be more difficult to achieve a high safety rating in the new program. Consumers will not be able to compare old ratings to the new system because too many testing criteria changed. Once the vehicles have been tested, results will be posted on the agency’s website at

Broad Selection of Vehicles
With such a major revision of testing procedures, the NHTSA has chosen a broad selection of vehicles to test so consumers will have as much information as possible when choosing which vehicle to purchase. Sport utility vehicles continue to be major sellers.

The NHTSA will test some of the most popular 2011 SUVs on the market including:

- Honda’s Pilot, CR-V, and MDX(Acura)
- Toyota’s Highlander, RAV4, Venza, and RX350 (Lexus)
- Nissan’s Murano and Rogue
- Subaru’s Forest and Outback
- Volvo’s XC60
- Kia’s Sorento and Soul
- GM’s Tahoe, Traverse, and Equinox
- Ford’s Edge and Escape
- Chrysler’s Grand Cherokee (Jeep)

Pickup trucks to be tested include:

- Toyota’s Tacoma and Tundra Double Cabs
- GM’s Silverado 1500 Extended and Crew Cabs (Chevrolet)
- Ford’s F-150 Super and Super Crew Cabs, and the Ranger Extended Cab
- Chrysler’s Ram 1500 Crew and Quad Cabs.

The full passenger car list can be found on the government agencies website.

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