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NHTSA Reveals Safest Vehicles for 2007 Model Year

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

NHTSA Reveals Safest Vehicles for 2007 Model Year

Anthony Fontanelle
February 19, 2007

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released the results of the crash and rollover safety tests that they have conducted. The government agency awarded 24 vehicles for the 2007 model year with its highest safety rating of five stars. These 24 vehicles have performed well in both the front and side crash tests that were conducted by the agency. These tests are done in connection with the institution’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The program is aimed to help the public choose which cars are safe and capable of protecting people in the event of a crash.

Of the 24 vehicles that received the five-star rating from the agency, seven of them are four-door passenger vehicles. The remaining 17 vehicles are four-door sports utility vehicles. The Dodge Caliber, Ford Five Hundred, Kia Optima, Mercury Montego, Subaru Legacy, Saturn Aura, and the Toyota Camry are the first seven four-door passenger vehicles which have received the agency’s highest rating for front and side crash tests.

Aside from the aforementioned seven vehicles, the NHTSA also gave five star ratings to seventeen four-door SUVs. These are the Acura MDX, Acura RDX, Audi Q7, Dodge Nitro, Ford Freestyle, GMC Acadia, Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Hyundai Santa Fe, Infiniti FX35/45, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-7, Saturn Outlook, Subaru Outback, and the Toyota Highlander.

All the abovementioned vehicles have shown that their safety features are adequate to protect passengers and the driver in the event of a front or side collision. Their safety can be compared to that of a vehicle equipped with EBC Redstuff brake pads whose stopping power is a great addition to a car’s safety features. The list of vehicles is not complete though since the government agency has only tested 63 of the 70 vehicles slated to be tested for the current model year. Only 79 percent of the vehicle scheduled to be available to the public this year has been accounted for and the rest are yet to be tested. The complete ratings for 2007 models are easily accessible to consumers who want to look into a vehicle’s safety ratings before buying one. The information can be viewed at www.safercar.gov where not only the current ratings are available but safety ratings for previous model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also performed rollover tests on the 63 vehicles that have already been tested for front and side crash safety. Of all the vehicles analyzed, only three vehicles got the highest rating of the agency for rollover resistance. Incidentally, none of the 24 vehicles which got five star ratings for front and side crash safety tests also got five stars in the rollover safety tests. The cars that performed satisfactorily in the rollover safety tests are the Mazda6 four-door, the Pontiac Solstice Convertible and another convertible, the Saturn Sky. These three vehicles have been engineered for maximum stability that is why they have the best rollover protection among all the vehicles for the 2007 model year.

The agency uses the star rating to give consumers an easily understood rating system. Their evaluation system gives a star for the lowest mark and five stars for the highest rating. This comes to play when comparing the safety of a vehicle against another vehicle. The agency will also implement the posting of the star ratings on the windows of vehicles. This use of window stickers will be made standard beginning September of this year. Said measure will be of great help for consumers since it will be easier for them to know the safety rating of car just by looking at it.

Source: Amazines.com



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