Vehicle Ratings May Change

One of the best sales tools for car dealers is the vehicle’s safety rating. Anyone concerned with safety will look at how the carp performed during crash tests, with 5-star ratings signifying the best in passenger safety.

Now, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing three new ratings for cars and trucks:  1) pedestrian safety; 2) crash worthiness; and 3) crash avoidance.

According to a Reuters report:

“We’re going to raise the bar,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, adding that the new “tougher” standards are more accurate and will prod automakers to do more, including to make safety technology standard on all new vehicles.

It is hoped that these new rating categories will push carmakers to add such safety technologies as:

  • forward collision warning
  • lane departure warning
  • blind-spot detection
  • lower beam head lighting
  • semi-automatic headlamp beam switching
  • amber rear turn signals,
  • ear automatic braking
  • pedestrian automatic emergency braking

The new ratings are likely to take effect for cars in the model year 2019. The last time the crash test ratings were changed was in 2007, when the government required tougher car safety crash tests and added a side-impact test to the five-star crash ratings.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers – the trade group representing General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, Volkswagen AG, and others – said on Tuesday it was “pleased that NHTSA sees new safety technologies pioneered by automakers are performing well in the real world and should be featured in their consumer education program.”

The group added: “Crash-avoidance technologies can be life-saving innovations that we’re eager to see consumers embrace. Looking ahead, a significant portion of future highway safety gains will likely come from these advanced technologies.”