New Crash Test Ratings Introduced

NHTSA also has identified the initial car models to be tested.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised its five-star safety ratings program and also announced the lineup of 2011 passenger vehicles to be tested first. The new program will give buyers a single overall score per vehicle.

A total of 24 passenger cars, 20 sport utility vehicles, two vans, and nine pickups will be rated; the system includes tougher crash tests and will provides information about new crash avoidance technologies including lane departure and forward collision warning systems.

"The vehicles we are announcing today will be the first ones tested under the department's tougher, more rigorous five-star ratings program," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "This new testing program significantly raises the safety bar for all vehicle manufacturers and will provide consumers with a great deal more safety information about the cars and trucks they want to buy."

"For over 30 years, NHTSA's five-star crash testing program has been the gold standard for consumers looking to buy the safest cars on the market for their families," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said. "Now, this great program has gotten even better by making it easier to compare the safety performance of vehicles not only in terms of crash survivability, but in terms of avoiding crashes in the first place.”

Results of the tests will be posted at www.safercar.gov. The list of 2011 makes and models selected for testing is provided at http://www.nhtsa.gov/PR/NHTSA-05-10.

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