The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday, Oct. 13, announced the lineup of model year 2012 passenger vehicles that will be tested as part of the agency’s 5-star safety ratings program. The program’s crash tests will provide consumer safety information on about 81 percent of model year 2012 passenger vehicles sold in the United States, while rollover tests will provide information on 92 percent of the 2012 fleet.
NHTSA will rate 74 vehicles for the 2012 model year, including 42 passenger cars, 22 sport utility vehicles, two vans and eight pickups. NHTSA says the testing will be conducted under its enhanced program, which was revamped last year to include tougher crash tests and provide consumers with a single overall safety score for each vehicle. A number of model year 2012 vehicles had carry-over designs from the previous year or already have been tested, and these ratings already are posted online.
“Our 5-star ratings program is a critical resource to help consumers make the best possible decisions about the cars they want to buy,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “By revamping the tests and creating a more rigorous program last year, we raised the bar on safety for all vehicle manufacturers.”
In addition to overall safety ratings, NHTSA’s revamped testing program also provides recommendations to consumers on the most effective “crash avoidance” technologies available in new model year vehicles. For the 2012 model year, NHTSA has identified 68 vehicle models equipped with either lane departure warning (LDW), forward collision warning (FCW) or both features.
Of these equipped vehicles, 12 have LDW, 18 vehicles have FCW and 38 vehicles have both features. Since NHTSA began identifying vehicles equipped with these crash avoidance technologies in 2011, availability of these features has risen, up from the 45 vehicles offering these technologies as optional equipment last model year.
“For more than three decades, NHTSA’s 5-star ratings system has been the gold standard for consumers who want to purchase the safest vehicles on the market,” says NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Thanks to the upgrades we’ve made to the program, consumers can now readily compare the safety of vehicles not only in terms of crash survivability, but also when it comes to avoiding crashes in the first place.”
Results for the 74 vehicles that will be tested under the enhanced Government 5-star safety ratings program and recommendations on the 68 vehicles with crash avoidance LDW or FCW will be posted online at www.safercar.gov. For a list of vehicles selected for crash and rollover testing in model year 2012, go to www.dot.gov/affairs/2011/nhtsa1711.html.