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NHTSA RELEASES CRASH TEST RESULTS FOR FOUR 1999 VEHICLES

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ford Windstar, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Venture, Nissan Frontier

NHTSA RELEASES CRASH TEST RESULTS FOR FOUR 1999 VEHICLES

NHTSA
December 10, 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 81-98
December 10, 1998
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released frontal and side crash test results for four model year 1999 vehicles. NHTSA expects to crash a total of 63 new cars and trucks this year.

The frontal crash impact test results are included for the Ford Windstar van. The Ford Windstar got the top safety rating for both the driver and the front seat passenger. This is the fourth consecutive design of the Windstar van to garner the top safety rating for frontal impact. 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 1999, provide frontal impact safety information on a total of 55 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 showing the best crash protection for vehicles within the same weight class. Head and chest data, which show 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 Toyota Corolla four-door with side air bag, Nissan Frontier pickup, and the Chevrolet Venture van with side air bag. In model year 1999, side-impact crash testing has been expanded to include light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles. 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 1999, provide side impact safety information on a total of 56 vehicles.

In the side crash testing, the Chevrolet Venture, a van, received the highest safety rating to date for the rear seat passenger. The Venture received five stars for both the driver and rear seat passenger, and is the first vehicle (car or light truck) to receive the top rating for both in the side crash test.

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 shows the chance of life-threatening injury, is signified in a single rating reflected by the number of stars. Pelvic injury also is measured. If a high likelihood of pelvic injury occurs in the lateral test, the consumer is also informed of this possible injury by a pound symbol.

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. 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 and air bags. The results do not apply to unbelted occupants.

All vehicles had safety belt systems for all occupants and frontal air bags for the driver and right front seat passenger. The side air bag equipment provided on each tested vehicle is shown to the right of the vehicle's overall score. The side air bag column refers to what was in the vehicle tested and not to options that might be available from the manufacturer.

Also, thigh injury is measured in the frontal crash tests and pelvic injury is measured in the side crash tests. If a high likelihood of a thigh injury or a pelvic injury occurs, the consumer is informed of these possible injuries by an asterisk or a pound symbol respectively.

MOST RECENT RESULTS, DECEMBER 1998

1999 LIGHT PASSENGER CARS

(2000 - 2499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
TOYOTA COROLLA 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star3 check  
1999 LIGHT TRUCKS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
NISSAN FRONTIER PU 2816 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star4 NO SEAT    
1999 VANS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET VENTURE 3857 lbs. star4 star3 star5 star5 check  
FORD WINDSTAR 4126 lbs. star5 star5 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    

DECEMBER 1998

1999 LIGHT PASSENGER CARS

(2000 - 2499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET PRIZM 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
CHEVROLET PRIZM 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star3 check  
FORD ESCORT 4DR 2548 lbs. star3 star3 star3 star3    
HONDA CIVIC 2DR 2352 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star2 star3    
HONDA CIVIC 4DR 2383 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
HYUNDAI ACCENT 4DR 2254 lbs. star3 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
MERCURY TRACER 4DR 2458 lbs. star3 star3 star3 star3    
NISSAN SENTRA 4DR 2452 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star3    
SATURN SL 4DR 2324 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
TOYOTA COROLLA 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
TOYOTA COROLLA 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star3 check  
TOYOTA TERCEL 2DR 2163 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star3    

 # HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF PELVIC INJURY

1999 COMPACT PASSENGER CARS

(2500 - 2999 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET CAVALIER 2DR 2708 lbs. star3 star4 star1 star2    
CHEVROLET CAVALIER 4DR 2750 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
DODGE NEON 4DR 2520 lbs. star3 star4 star2 star3  
EAGLE TALON 2DR 2852 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 NO DATA    
FORD CONTOUR 4DR 2850 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star4    
FORD ESCORT ZX2 2DR 2541 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 star4    
MAZDA 626 4DR 2695 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
MERCURY MYSTIQUE 4DR 2850 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star4    

# HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF PELVIC INJURY

1999 COMPACT PASSENGER CARS

(2500 - 2999 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE 2DR 2852 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 NO DATA    
NISSAN ALTIMA 4DR 2932 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
PLYMOUTH NEON 4DR 2520 lbs. star3 star4 star2 star3    
PONTIAC SUNFIRE 2DR 2708 lbs. star3 star4 star1 star2    
PONTIAC SUNFIRE 4DR 2750 lbs. star4 star4 star1  star3    
SUBARU LEGACY 4DR 2959 lbs. star4 star4 star3  NO DATA    
VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 4DR 2788 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star2 check  

# HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF PELVIC INJURY

1999 MEDIUM PASSENGER CARS

(3000 - 3499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
BUICK CENTURY 4DR 3380 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
BUICK LESABRE 4DR 3442 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
BUICK REGAL 4DR 3380 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
CHEVROLET CAMARO 2DR 3336 lbs. star4 star5 star3 star4    
CHEVROLET LUMINA 4DR 3367 lbs. star4 star5 star4 star3    
CHEVROLET MALIBU 4DR 3083 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
CHRYSLER CIRRUS 4DR 3043 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star2    
DODGE STRATUS 4DR 3043 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star2    
FORD MUSTANG 2DR 3085 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
FORD TAURUS 4DR 3290 lbs. star5 star5 star3 star3    
HONDA ACCORD 2DR 3175 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
HONDA ACCORD 4DR 3078 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star4    
1999 MEDIUM PASSENGER CARS

(3000 - 3499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
LEXUS ES300 4DR 3344 lbs. star4 star4 star5 star4 check  
MERCEDES-BENZ C230 4DR 3132 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star4 check  
MERCURY SABLE 4DR 3290 lbs. star5 star5 star3 star3    
NISSAN MAXIMA 4DR 3080 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star4 star3    
OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS 4DR 3083 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE 4DR 3467 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star1    
PLYMOUTH BREEZE 4DR 3043 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star2    
PONTIAC FIREBIRD 2DR 3336 lbs. star4 star5 star3 star4    
TOYOTA AVALON 4DR 3319 lbs. star4 star5 star5 star4 check  
TOYOTA CAMRY 4DR 3098 lbs. star4 star5 star3 star3    
VOLVO S70 4DR 3126 lbs. star5 star5 star4 NO DATA check  
1999 HEAVY PASSENGER CARS

(3500 lbs. & over Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
AUDI A8 4DR 3751 lbs. star5 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check check
CADILLAC DEVILLE 4DR 4011 lbs. star3 star3 star4 star4 check  
FORD CROWN VICTORIA 4DR 3951 lbs. star5 star5 star4 star4    
MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS 4DR 3951 lbs. star5 star5 star4 star4    
OLDSMOBILE AURORA 4DR 3993 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
PONTIAC BONNEVILLE SSE 4DR 3558 lbs. star5 star3 star3 star2    
1999 SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET SUBURBAN 4DR 4X4 5759 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD EXPLORER 4DR 4X4 4258 lbs. star4 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
GMC SUBURBAN 4DR 4X4 5759 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
HONDA CR-V 4DR 4X4 3149 lbs. star4 star5 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
HONDA PASSPORT 4DR 4X4 3966 lbs. star3 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
ISUZU RODEO 4DR 4X4 3966 lbs. star3 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
MERCURY MOUNTAINEER 4DR 4X4 4258 lbs. star4 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
TOYOTA RAV4 4DR 4X4 3005 lbs. star4 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
1999 LIGHT TRUCKS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
DODGE RAM PU EXCAB 4896 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD RANGER PU 3543 lbs. star4 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
MAZDA B-SERIES 3543 lbs star4 star4 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
NISSAN FRONTIER PU 2816 lbs NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star4 NO SEAT    
NISSAN FRONTIER PU EXCAB 3691 lbs. star3 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
1999 VANS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR
PASSENGER
FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET VENTURE 3857 lbs. star4 star3 star5 star5 check  
FORD WINDSTAR 4126 lbs. star5 star5 TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED    
OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE 3857 lbs. star4 star3 star5 star5 check  
PONTIAC MONTANA 3857 lbs. star4 star3 star5 star5 check  
TOYOTA SIENNA 3973 lbs. star5 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    



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