NHTSA to Revamp Crash Test Rating System

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Oct. 17, 2019—The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to revive an effort to overhaul the five-star crash rating program for all new vehicles, according to a report by Reuters.

In 2015, NHTSA proposed requiring automakers to add crash avoidance technologies to gain top, five-star ratings and those changes were set to start in the 2019 model year. However, the changes have been on hold as the agency conducted public hearings. The proposed changes were part of NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program. 

NHTSA said potential changes include “new test procedures, updates to vehicle labeling, advancements in crash-test dummies... and new technologies tied to the safety of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as cyclists.”

In 2015, the agency proposed adding a new frontal crash test, new pedestrian crash worthiness testing and add two new advanced crash test dummies. The proposal sought to nudge automakers to add features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, and more.


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