The NHTSA announced today that it would be crash-testing 55 2011MY vehicles under its new, tougher five-star safety ratings program. The revised ratings system will give drivers a single overall score for the first time, as well as provide additional information about whether vehicles have advanced safety features like lane departure and forward collision warning systems.
The agency announced the first round of testing today that will be released in September.
“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.”
The Ford Fusion and Taurus, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford F-150, Honda Accord, Dodge Caliber and Chevrolet Cruze are all set to be included in the first round which has automakers concerned about getting lower scores than in the past; a scenario that could drastically injure sales, as safety has been an ever increasing issue among car buyers.
Agency administrator David Strickland said the new program will test a collection vehicles that account for 72% of auto sales. The 2010 test examined a pool that accounted for 85% by volume. It will take a few years according to Strickland, to get back into the mid 80’s range.
Check ratings for your favorite car on the site www.safercar.gov.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News