NHTSA to Test 54 Cars in 2013

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will crash test 54 2013 models as part of its revamped 5-star safety ratings program.
The tests represent 85 percent of the volume of new vehicles sold.
New models to be tested include the Nissan Leaf, Ford Fusion Electric, Ford CMAX hybrid and Energi, Honda Accord, Mercedes C-Class, Dodge Dart, Cadillac ATS, Fiat 500, Toyota Prius C and V, Volkswagen Beetle, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Patriot, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Traverse, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, BMW X5 and Toyota Tacoma.
“For more than 30 years, NHTSA’s 5-star safety ratings program has not only served as a guide for safety-conscious consumers, it has encouraged auto makers to strive for ever-greater safety improvements with each succeeding model year,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
NHTSA tests vehicles with the highest sales volumes and compares them, using star ratings, to highlight which vehicles go above and beyond what is federally required.
Starting with model year 2011, NHTSA updated its program, adding an overall rating, a new pole test for side crashes and improved crash test dummies including small-statured female crash test dummies. The new program was tougher than the old program — and came in part because nearly all vehicles were getting the highest grades.
The program encourages automakers to improve crash protection and develop even safer vehicles in order to achieve a coveted government 5-star safety rating. It also highlights advanced safety features, including forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems.
The program has been in place since 1978.
NHTSA will rate 54 vehicles for the 2013 model year, including 33 passenger cars, 16 sport utility vehicles, one van, and four pickup trucks.
Some 2013 vehicles had carry-over designs from the previous model year or have already been tested, and these ratings are posted online at the agency’s auto safety website, www.safercar.gov.


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