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NHTSA RELEASES FINAL GROUP OF 1997 FRONTAL CRASH TEST RESULTS

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NHTSA RELEASES FINAL GROUP OF 1997 FRONTAL CRASH TEST RESULTS

NHTSA
June 27, 1997

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 39-97
Friday, June 27, 1997
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

List Shows Side Test Results NHTSA RELEASES FINAL GROUP OF 1997 FRONTAL CRASH TEST RESULTS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released the final group of frontal crash test results for model year 1997 vehicles and the second group of side impact crash test results for model year 1997 cars.

Frontal crash impact test results included are for the Kia Sephia four-door, Nissan 200SX two-door, Buick LeSabre four-door, Jeep Cherokee 4x4 four-door utility, Kia Sportage 4x4 four-door utility, Mitsubishi Montero 4x4 four-door utility, Toyota Tacoma extended cab pickup, and the Ford Windstar van (1998 Windstar model without "Second Generation Air Bags"). These new test results, along with results for vehicles tested previously that remain valid because the manufacturers are selling the same or essentially the same vehicles in model year 1997, provide safety information on a total of 152 vehicles.

Vehicles are crashed at 35 mph such that the entire front impacts against a rigid, fixed barrier. This crash is equivalent to a head-on collision between two identical vehicles, each moving at 35 mph, or with a 70 mph closing speed. Crash-test dummies are placed in the driver and front passenger seats. These instrumented dummies register forces and impacts during the crash, which NHTSA uses to predict frontal head and chest injuries.

The New Car Assessment Program crash test results are reported in a range of one to five stars,with five stars indicating the best crash protection for vehicles within the same weight class. Head and chest data, which indicate the chance of a life-threatening injury, are combined into a single rating, reflected by the number of stars. These represent a vehicle's relative level of crash protection in a head-on collision. Thigh injury, though rarely life-threatening, is also measured in the tests. Such injury can be disabling, and if a high likelihood of thigh injury is shown in the tests, it will be noted in the charts.

NHTSA emphasized that the crash test results for frontal impact are meaningful only for comparing relative injury risk in frontal collisions between vehicles of similar weight, within an approximate weight range of 500 pounds. The test results for passenger cars are presented in separate tables for each weight class and listed alphabetically within each table. Separate tables are provided for sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks. In head-on collisions involving two vehicles of different weights, occupants in lighter weight vehicles usually experience greater risk of injury than those in heavier vehicles.

Side-impact crash test results included are for the Kia Sephia four-door, Toyota Tercel two-door, Hyundai Sonata four-door, Mitsubishi Galant four-door, Nissan Maxima four-door, Ford Contour four-door, Volvo 850 four-door, and Cadillac DeVille four-door.

The combination of frontal and side crash tests in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) gives consumers relative safety information on the two most common injury-causing crash events -- frontal and side impacts. In the attached tables, the safety information is provided from both the frontal and side NCAP tests.

The federal safety agency said the side crash used to test these passenger cars simulates a typical intersection collision between two vehicles. In the tests, forces are measured on two crash dummies when a moving, deformable barrier is impacted at an angle into the side of a car at 38.5 mph.

Crash-test dummies--designed specifically to measure human-like responses in the side direction--are placed in the driver position and in the rear seat position behind the driver. Instruments measure the force of impact to the dummy's chest and pelvis. The chest data, which indicates the chance of life-threatening injury, is signified in a single rating reflected by the number of stars. Pelvic injury also is measured. While pelvic injury is rarely life-threatening, it can be disabling. If a high likelihood of pelvic injury occurs in the lateral test, it will be noted by an asterisk.

NHTSA advised consumers, in reviewing the front and lateral star ratings, to keep in mind that in real world crashes vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in severe frontal crashes as in severe side crashes. Test results show the relative crash protection provided to occupants using all of the vehicle's occupant protection equipment. Occupant protection equipment consists of safety belts, air bags, or a combination of both. The results do not apply to unbelted occupants. The occupant protection equipment provided on each tested vehicle is shown to the right of the vehicle's overall score.

Consumers can obtain more detailed information on these crash results by visiting NHTSA's World Wide Web site: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov or by calling the agency's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline, 800-424-9393.



New Car Assessment Program

How To Use This Chart

In the frontal crash rating, vehicles are classified by the estimated chance of a life threatening head and/or chest injury for the driver or front seat passenger.

Frontal crash results should be compared against other vehicles in the same weight class. If a light vehicle collides head-on with a heavier vehicle at 35mph, the occupants in the lighter vehicle could experience a greater chance of injury than the results of this test indicate.

In the side crash rating, vehicles are classified by the estimated chance of a life threatening chest injury for the driver and the rear seat passenger. Head injury is not measured in the side crashes.

Drivers and passengers in both the frontal and side crash rating receive a one to five star rating with five stars indicating the best protection.

Vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in severe frontal crashes than in severe side crashes.

Also, thigh injury is measured in the frontal crash tests and pelvic injury is measured in the side crash tests. Although rarely life threatening, they can be disabling and, if the tests indicate a high likelihood of these injuries, it is noted by an asterisk or the pound symbol respectively.

NEW IN THIS RELEASE:

1997 LIGHT PASSENGER CARS
(2000 - 2499 lbs. Curb Weight)
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG

BELTS
SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
TOYOTA TERCEL 2DR 2070 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star4 D/P

JUNE 1997

1997 COMPACT PASSENGER CARS
(2500 - 2999 lbs. Curb Weight)
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG
BELTS SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
HYUNDAI SONATA 4DR 2761 lbs. star3 star4 star1 star2 D/P

KIA SEPHIA 4DR 2505 lbs. star4 star4 star2 star1 D/P

MITSUBISHI GALANT 4DR 2860 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star2 D/P

NISSAN 200SX 2DR 2746 lbs. star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D/P

NISSAN MAXIMA 4DR 2970 lbs. star4 star3 star4 star3 D/P



1997 MEDIUM PASSENGER CARS
(3000 - 3499 lbs. Curb Weight)
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG
BELTS SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
BUICK LESABRE 4DR 3442 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D/P

FORD CONTOUR 4DR 3020 lbs. star4 star3 star4 D/P

VOLVO 850 4DR 3241 lbs star4 star4 NO DATA D/P
check



1997 HEAVY PASSENGER CARS
(3500 lbs. & over Curb Weight)
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG
BELTS SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
CADILLAC DEVILLE 4DR 4011 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star4 D/P
check



1997 SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG
BELTS SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
JEEP CHEROKEE 4DR 4x4 3488 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D/P

KIA SPORTAGE 4DR 4x4 3083 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D P
MITSUBISHI MONTERO 4DR 4x4 4653 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D/P




1997 LIGHT TRUCKS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG
BELTS SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
TOYOTA TACOMA PU ExCAB 2849 lbs. star1 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D P



1997 VANS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING BELTS
& AIR BAG
BELTS SIDE
AIR
BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER
FORD WINDSTAR

(Includes early 1998 models without "Second Generation Air Bags")

3762 lbs. star5 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED D/P



NHTSA emphasized that the crash test results for frontal impact are meaningful only for comparing relative injury risk in frontal collisions between vehicles of similar weight, within an approximate weight range of 500 pounds. The test results for passenger cars are presented in separate tables for each weight class and listed alphabetically within each table. Separate tables are provided for sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks. In head-on collisions involving two vehicles of different weights, occupants in lighter weight vehicles usually experience greater risk of injury than those in heavier vehicles



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